It's well known that Daniel Giddens has been on the Florida recruiting board for some time, he's already made one unofficial visit to Gainesville. Coach Billy Donovan's interest should be no surprise as Giddens is an elite talent that is athletic and intelligent.
The Top-15 center joined the Each One Teach One (E1T1) AAU program Tuesday and was in Orlando this week for the AAU Super Showcase and AAU Nationals.
Inside the Gators caught up with him after his first game Wednesday morning.
"The vibe is good here I really like it," Giddens said. "It's a nice change. I feel a little freer playing on this team, there are a lot of Division-One prospects playing on this team like Antonio Blakeney and Alex Owens (also UF targets in the 2015 class). There are a lot of good players so it's nice to be here."
The 6-foot-10, 230 pounder has had a busy summer, including winning a Gold medal with Team USA in the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Maldonado, Uruguay last month.
"The experience was a blessing," said Giddens. "I just feel really blessed that the coaches selected me to be on the team. It was a lot of hard work a lot of hustle and bustle. There were days I was hurt and didn't feel like getting up to play, but the experience paid off and I just feel really blessed to have been in that position."
Giddens played alongside other elite players in the 2015 class such as Malik Newman.
"The experience was unlike any other because those (Team USA) are all D-1 players and when you surround yourself with D-1 players they're only going to make you better. The leadership from Malik and the shooting skills of Jayson (Tatum) combined with the front court of Diamond (Stone), Ivan (Rabb) and Thomas Bryant; it was just a fun experience."
Although he declined to list schools by name, Giddens mentioned that he holds offers from Florida, most of the SEC, ACC, a few Big 12 and Pac 12 schools.
"Florida is in regular contact," he said. "I heard from one of the assistant coaches about two days ago. Billy Donovan is an excellent coach. I took an unofficial visit last year when they played South Carolina. The atmosphere was very, very nice. I liked the campus and everyone was genuinely very nice. I saw the practice facility."
Growing up Giddens said that he watched a lot of University of Washington games due to his mom being an alumna as well as Georgia and Georgia Tech games because "they're on TV all the time" where he lives, but he claims no favorites at this time.
Wood's Scouting Report
In his sophomore season at Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler Giddens averaged 12 points, 10 rebounds and close to four blocks per game.
Giddens can run the floor, can face up or play back to the basket. He's an excellent passer and can be too unselfish at times looking to pass to cutters. He's also deceptively strong. In the game we saw, a 20 point loss to Atlanta Xpress, he had one dunk that was so ferocious that the basket moved off it's brakes and ended up facing the scorer's table.
He is currently ranked as the No. 14 prospect in the Rivals Top 100 in the class of 2015.