Thad Four Become Official

Yesterday was the first day that college basketball players nationwide could officially sign their Letters of Intent. While it wasn’t much of a surprise there was just a little hint of drama during this last years recruiting process, the players have been known. The only drama was of one player decommitting then recommitting within a months time if memory serves me right. Mickey Mitchell was the player everyone was worried about especially since he committed to Thad and Ohio State when his brother was still a part of Urban Meyers program. Yesterday Mitchell made it official signing his LOI along with future teammates Daniel Giddens, Austin Grandstaff, and A.J. Harris. These are huge gets for Thad and company plus they will have basically newcomers to the court next season with David Bell (C) who is currently on the team but looks to be redshirted and Trevor Thompson (C) who has to sit out a season for transferring from Va. Tech. The best thing would be if D’Angelo Russell will still be on the squad next season to be a part of this incoming class along with the other youth that the Buckeyes have but that might be a pipe dream.

Players we know for sure that will not be on the team next season due to graduating is Shannon Scott(G), Sam Thompson(F), Amir Williams(C) and graduate transfer Anthony Lee(C). The current and future Buckeye men’s basketball picture looks bright. Lets take a look at your 2015 recruiting class.

Daniel Giddens C 6-10 235lbs
Marietta Georgia
Rivals: 4 star ranked #43 nationally
scouting report:

ESPN Analyst
Updated 11/12/2014
Strengths:
A defensive presence in the lane, he protects the rim with his shot blocking skills and his body. He is hard to score against inside because he is strong, powerful, long and athletic who uses his frame to shield the rim. Giddens is a alert defender especially off the ball in help situations where he can contest and /or block a shot to help a teammate. He runs the floor extremely well and consistently hits the boards on both ends especially offensively. Immediately on his defensive rebound he throws the outlet pass which gets the transition game going. Scores mostly on drop off passes but has shown the ability to post some on the blocks. He can also get to the rim with short one or two dribble drives which is a problem for opposing centers. He moves well without the ball and can catch and finish with touch or above the rim with power and good explosiveness.
Weaknesses:
A bona fide low post game is lacking. He first learn the art of the post up which includes deep post position with a low and wide base along with making and maintaining contact with his defender. Giddens must continue to work on developing on the offensive end of the floor especially with his back to the basket game and a short jumper. His free throw shooting is poor at the present moment and as he is leaving points at the line. Learning how to use his massive frame against like size defenders will be the first step in his growth.
Bottom Line:
If progress can be made on the offensive end of the floor we are looking at one of the most difficult players in the class of 2015 to stop inside because of his physical frame and good hands. Giddens is an active and mobile center that is strong and physical. He is an excellent defender, rebounder and finisher and as his offense continues to develop so will his offensive production. Reminds us of former Florida center Patric Young or former Ohio State forward center Perry Carter.

Austin Grandstaff G 6-4 180lbs
Rockwell, Texas
Rivals: 4 star #41 nationally
Scouting Report:

ESPN Analyst
Updated 11/12/2014
Strengths:
Grandstaff is an excellent shooter off the catch or dribble. He is terrific at coming off a variety of screening actions as well. When he gets on a roll he can make a bunch. He’s a solid basketball athlete with a good basketball IQ. While shooting is his main attribute he can also put the ball on the floor and make plays off the dribble. Good passer and a good handle round out his game.
Weaknesses:
Would like to see him become a better defensive player, he has the tools to do it. Also, he can be a bit streaky shooting the ball, needs more consistency. Austin is a volume scorer who sometimes needs a lot of shots to get his points. We’d like to see him be more efficient. Grandstaff will need some help getting open at times and he will not only need to add strength but improve as a ball handler when under intense ball pressure.
Bottom Line:
His ability to put the ball in the basket is what sets him apart from most. He is a true shooting guard that can make shots from all over the court and will be an immediate shot maker on the high major level.

Mickey Mitchell F 6-7 210lbs
Plano, Texas
Rivals: 4 star #92 nationally
Scouting Report:

ESPN Analyst
Updated 11/12/2014
Strengths:
Mitchell is simply a relentless rim attacker. The lefty is tough and competitive on both ends of the floor. He is an excellent passer with great court vision and ball skills as well. He is a decent three point shoot when he feet are set and he is in rhythm. Mitchell is a good perimeter rebounder that is a coast to coast threat if not brought under control immediately. He is an above the rim finisher on the break and on all clear paths to the rim. Mitchell is a match up nightmare from the wing position and has a great motor as well. Mitchell is also a standout quarterback.
Weaknesses:
Mitchell has room to improve from behind the arc and he will also need to make better decisions with the ball at times and just keep it simple. He will also need to add the jump stop to his game so he doesn’t make himself charge prone.
Bottom Line:
Mitchell is an aggressive wing that has excellent skill and feel for the game. He can score in a variety of ways and is an elite passer with toughness and a great motor. Mitchell is a high major wing that can impact the game with his skill and toughness on both ends of the floor but make no mistake about it his passing and court vision make him special.

A.J. Harris G 5-9 160lbs
Dayton, Ohio
Rivals: 4 star #103 nationally
Scouting Report:

ESPN Analyst
Updated 11/12/2014
Strengths:
A.J. is an ultra quick point guard that can get in the lane at will. He has a lightning fast first step. Has an excellent floater with great touch and body control. He’s a good advance passer off the dribble and getting the ball up the floor. He moves the ball well in the halfcourt and can create for himself or teammates at end of clock situations. The lefty is a very tough competitor with a great motor.
Weaknesses:
Harris is a very streaky shooter with range to 20 feet. Must improve the consistency of his jumpshot. He is a capable defender that sometimes gambles too much. We’d like to see him get stronger which should come as he matures.
Bottom Line:
A.J. is a solid addition for Ohio State. He should follow in their tradition of good, solid, team-first point guards.

Welcome to Columbus and Buckeye Nation.

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