November 17, 2011

Giddings to San Joaquin

Kevin McCarthy

Mixing sports metaphors, 6-foot-10 Tanner Giddings wasn't born on third base, claiming he hit a triple. But the Oakland Rebel and Windsor High frontcourter has put in the time and effort necessary for his improvement and now he has wedded himself to a Mountain West Conference-to-be school.

photo of Tanner Giddings

Giddings will become a Fresno State Bulldog after his senior year, signing up to become a member of Coach Rodney Terry's second recruiting class.

Why the San Joaquin?

"I liked the coaching staff and the guys who will be my teammates -- they treated me well during my visit," Giddings explained. But something else played a major role in his decision, a situation of the early bird getting the worm. "They were on me the most in the beginning of summer."

Another factor: "I'm a family kind of guy and Fresno is close enough but not too close to home."

Initially, Giddings thought he wanted to wait to sign but the early and continued interest from Fresno State and then researching Terry's background did the trick.

Western Kentucky was very interested, with USF and San Jose State University in the mix.

Giddings initially met with the Bulldog coaches on his visit, then “hung out” with the team and connected with backcourter Tyler Johnson in particular.

He expects to be arrive in Fresno around the beginning of summer.

What's interesting is Giddings self-assessment. "My freshman year, I didn't think of myself as that good." But he was brought up to the varsity as a sophomore and hours in the gym ultimately paid off.

Oakland Rebels Coach Ryant Diew concurred about the Bulldog focus on Giddings -- "they came first and came the hardest, getting on him from the first time they saw him."

Here's Diew's description of his protege: "He's very coordinated and agile and runs very well. I'm proud of how he worked on his game -- he blew me away in July with his play. Tanner's a legit 6-foot-10 and he's showing the hunger. In two years, he will be very good. He's at 220-225 now and can carry 20-25 more pounds."

In fact, Giddings said he is on a special diet to gain weight and add muscle. The young man also offered that "I've been working on my jump shot and I'm always told I'm one of the fastest big guys."

Here's basketball trainer Jerry Russotti speaking about Giddings: "Tanner is a great person and will be a solid teammate. With the potential of his frame, he should come back to Windsor after his first season of college looking completely different. Size is hard to teach so If he can develop a tougher inside game, develop rebounding toughness, and learn how to defend the post against bigger players, he could eventually help Fresno State."

The Bulldogs also signed a 6-foot-9 high school senior but Terry's current roster is definitely in need of greater size.

Gidding offered thanks to his parents -- "this wouldn't be happening without them" -- all of his high school and AAU coaches plus Mike Farmer, his shooting coach.

As for the Windsor High season, Giddings said, "I think we'll be pretty good. We lost two seniors (one being his brother Collin)" but Coach Steve Kramer has six seniors at his disposal in 2011-12. The Jaguars went 18-10 overall last go-around, 9-3 in league play.