Monday, October 4, 2010

Big Red Add Post Player

The Big Red added another piece to the recruiting class this weekend. Cornell received a commitment from Deion Giddens (Willow Canyon HS) Surprise, AZ, 6-9, 195, C.

As a junior for Willow Canyon, Giddens averaged 8.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.o blocks per game while shooting 56% from the floor and 63% at the free throw line.

The son of Freddie Giddens, an officer in the Air Force, Deion Giddens spent the majority of his life living in Germany while his father was stationed with the 52nd Medicine Support Squadron. Still adjusting to the physicality of the American style of basketball, Giddens has been described as having high-major upside once polishes his fundamentals and adds strength.

In April 2010, Dave Telep of evaluated Giddens at the Pump Spring Classic as follows: "Arizona Pump ‘n Run [AAU program] has a post player named Deion Giddens. He played high school ball last year after spending 8 seasons in Germany. He’s a lower level DI prospect in the 2011 class but has upside."

Rated a 77 by ESPN Scouts Inc., ESPN evaluated him in May 2010 and noted, "Giddens is a long, thin and athletic post player. Deion fills the lane in transition and can catch the ball on the move and finish off two feet in traffic. When in the post, he needs angles to score. When teams play him physical, he does not handle himself well. Defensively, he can cause problems for opponents because of his length, but Deion is going to have to improve on his strength and ball skills to solidify himself as Division I player."

During May 2010, wrote, "6-foot-9, 195-pound junior forward Deion Giddens has loads of potential and he is working very hard to develop his body and game for the collegiate level... Giddens is still very raw offensively, but has excellent potential as a prospect on the defensive end of the floor, as he is capable of blocking and changing shots around the painted area. Giddens is still very thin physically as well, causing him to have success against smaller opposition or those his size, but struggle at times when competing against bigger, stronger post players. As Giddens gains in size physically, he will become much more of an offensive threat. Giddens is working hard now in the weight room on his own to add more strength to his body and make himself more attractive to college coaches. He may need a red-shirt year at the collegiate level, or, even better yet, a year of post-graduate prep school work to prepare himself for the rigors of college basketball... Giddens is also an excellent student with a 4.4 CUM GPA, and he also speaks several languages including German, since he is an army brat and lived in Germany before he recently moved to the state of Arizona."

Later scouted by in July, the site noted, "Giddens has been very good this week, as he has played tougher and with more aggression all summer long. While he is still a raw talent, the young man has improved a great deal over the past four months and has many college programs very intrigued with his unlimited potential as a college prospect. Should see a large number of schools showing interest in this one after the evaluation period."

During August 2010, updated its evaluation and noted that "No player in Arizona's 2011 class of players improved more this off-season as a college prospect than Willow Canyon High School's 6-foot-9, 195-pound senior post prospect Deion Giddens."

While contacted during the recruitment process by Utah, Washington State, Boise State, Northern Arizona, Pepperdine, San Francisco, Lamar, and Texas-San Antonio, Giddens received offers from Cornell, Columbia, Princeton, Bucknell and Houston Baptist. After visiting Princeton last week, Giddens decided to commit to Cornell.

Below, a short highlight package of Giddens from his summer play.

Image for MaxPreps Video.


Anonymous said...

Interesting sounding player, although given his weight (or lack thereof) I suspect he's not going to be getting serious minutes as a freshman.

It seems like there's more emphasis on recruiting more athletic players than there has been in the past. It started with Donahue, but Courtney seems to be continuing it. Not sure if it's a result of having success and being able to recruit players that might not have been recruited in the past, or just a change in direction.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Good observation and the answer is a little of both.

The new coaching staff wants to push the ball and run and play physical, high pressure defense. Thus, an emphasis is place on athleticism, speed etc.

But at the same time, the success of the program has opened new doors for Cornell-- and now the Big Red are getting the kids that Penn, Princeton and the other Ivies wanted.

Anonymous said...

I agree that we're competitive with Princeton and most of the Ivies for kids these days. But it seems that Penn, and especially Harvard, are going after kids at a higher level, and they are starting to show some success at landing some of the high-major talent.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Agreed that Harvard and Penn are going after top 200 players, but so is Cornell.

And try to keep in mind that recruiting is a 2-3 year process. You need to get involved with the kids and build a relationship at least a year before their senior year.

Thus, for Cornell, the fruits of the Sweet 16 will begin to arrive with the class of 2012 as Courtney is now just beginning to pursue the high school juniors.

Most of current prospects were recruited by Donahue and the prior staff.

Also note that Harvard's first two recruits have a combined "one" offer from BCS programs.

This is not a knock or a slap at Harvard, but by no means are they setting the Ivy world on fire.

Cornell has four kids with a host of mid major offers... including to higher level leagues. And Cornell's recruiting is just beginning to really take off.

Not just a slogan, but a reality, the best is yet to come.

Anonymous said...

It's great to see that we are getting players in head-tohead competition with Princeton. This did not happen often in the past.

Anonymous said...

We got Dwight Tarwater over Princeton, didn't we? It seems to me that we have gotten guys over other schools before; didn't know this was new like people are saying.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Well, with Tarwater, Princeton wanted him and offered him a roster spot, on the contingency that he do a postgrad season first.

So, yes, he did choose Cornell over PU, but Cornell was ready to take him right away.

Anonymous said...

Yeah but even if Harvard's not getting these kids, they're still in the top 5s of top-100 prospects like Hollins & Dinwiddie and once they get one of those elite kids more will come. It's extremely worrying that we can only recruit kids in the high 70s, low 80s ratings while Harvard's going after kids in the mid-90s.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

No offense intended, but if you are relying on these ESPN ratings to evaluate kids, then you really don't know anything about recruiting. These ratings are pretty much worthless and are designed for fans to debate on message boards.

It is for pure entertainment.

We cite them in our write-ups to be all-inclusive, but they are not reliable.

In over ten years of doing this, never once heard a coach cite an ESPN,, or Hoop Scoop ranking in describing a kid. It is strictly for fans.

Finally, it does not matter who visits your campus. It only matters who ends up matriculating.

And there are only two kids wearing Harvard uniforms next year on the Harvard roster that Cornell wanted--- Kyle Casey and Kenyatta Smith.

Harvard wanted a few of the Cornell kids, starting with a point guard with a nickname of "Wrobo."

Anonymous said...

I love this recruiting talk. While it has nothing to do with results on the court, it certainly keeps things interesting until the season get underway.

Anonymous said...

These constant posts about ow Harvard has guys in the 90s are getting repetitive and tiring. They've also always been pointless.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, when you refer to this "wrobo" character, I am unbelievably flustered and have no clue who you are talking about. As far as I know, there is absolutely no one named "wrobo" on the cornell basketball team.
There is a "ski" however

Anonymous said...

The point is not that rivals ratings are completely irrelevant or that coaches don't refer to them - the issue is that many rating services that coaches do rely on are intended only to provide broad groupings and be a starting point for the coaches - High D-1, Low D-1, etc... Except for the top 100 type guys that are known players and often ready to play at High D-1 programs out of High School or prep school, the ratings are not that reliable. As for Ivy teams, the recruiting process is largely based on potential development over 4 years. I think the recent success at Cornell should get them in the mix with guys that may be more ready right out of high school athletically to compete at a d-1 level. What makes getting big guys so difficult is that there are just fewer of them and even the major d-1 programs or other good schools that offer scholarships will sometimes take a big who shows potential promise to develop even if the kid is clearly not ready to play at that level (and may never be ready) out of high school.

They Call me Memphis said...

I enjoy the nickname talk, Ski is definitely classic. How about the "Flurry" Coury?
-Josh "Big Fruit" Figini,
-Peter "Skinny" McMillan,
-Miles "Young Jay Battle" Asafo-Adjei,
-Ryan "Hittman" Wittman,
-Alex "Jiggy" Tyler.
And my personal favorite, Eitan "Big Rubix" Chemirinski
Definitely a team with a lot of characters!

Anonymous said...

In the past have we gotten this many commitments in the Fall, seems a lot more than usual? although I admit I did not follow the fall recruitment period as much in the past.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Been following recruiting for many years... and not going to spend a lot of time verifying, but do believe that four committed players in the fall is the most since at least 2000.

Last year's class had three fall commits in Matthews, Sahota and Scelfo.

But quality is more important that quantity and of these four recruits, they all have All League potential.

Giddens reminds us of a young Jeff Aubry or even young Andrew Naeve. Long and skinny, lots of long term upside, but an immediate impact shot blocker.

He will play bigger than 6'9"---

Not At The Table Carlos said...

Let us not forget Andrew "big game" Naeve. Such passion, such energy. Can only hope he brings the same effort to the political platform.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Some other nicknames used in the public realm in the last 15 years:

Eddie "The Seargeant" Samuel '95
Alex "Captain" Compton '97
Michael "Mister" Roberts '97
Ray "Pops" Mercedes '01
Wallace "WallyP" Prather '02
Ka'ron "Trooper" Barnes '04
Eric "E.T." Taylor '05
Cody "Topps" Toppert '05
Jason "JHart" Hartford '08

Anonymous said...

kid needs to add 30 pounds before he can start contributing

Anonymous said...

By your glorious leader's own admission, you guys nabbed a low-level, fringe P'ton recruit. Stop beating your's for you embarrassing.

Cornell is in a coaching transition, so I won't rub it in (I have no doubt Courtney will bring in some studs in 2012 and beyond), but stop embarrassing yourselves and disparaging other Ivy recruits. By every available metric -- including non-numeric stuff like offers elsewhere and simple video footage -- Cornell is being outrecruited or matched by every Ivy other than Dartmouth.

Anonymous said...

I think you misspelled his father's name, Freddie Gibbins or Giddens?

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

"Cornell is being outrecruited or matched by every Ivy other than Dartmouth."

Not even going to take the bait on this one.

"nabbed a low-level, fringe P'ton recruit."