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Freshman center Daniel Giddens to exit Ohio State men’s basketball program

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OSU freshman forward Daniel Giddens (4) during a game against Michigan State on Feb. 23 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo Editor

OSU freshman forward Daniel Giddens (4) during a game against Michigan State on Feb. 23 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo Editor

Daniel Giddens, a freshman on the Ohio State men’s basketball team, asked for his release from the program Monday and is expected to transfer, according to a report from ESPN’s Jeff Borzello.

An OSU spokesman confirmed to The Lantern that Giddens requested to be released.

Giddens, a 6-foot-10 center, started seven games for the Buckeyes during the 2015-16 season, averaging 3.8 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. His defense, though, was his biggest contribution to OSU.

The Mableton, Georgia, native supplied the Scarlet and Gray with a shot-altering presence in the paint, making it difficult, at times, for opponents to get easy baskets near the rim. He blocked 50 shots this year for an average of 1.5 per game.

Giddens becomes the second member of coach Thad Matta’s 2015 recruiting class bolt from the program, joining Austin Grandstaff, who left the team in December. Grandstaff eventually enrolled at Oklahoma.

With Giddens’ impending departure, there’s a chance that next season the Buckeyes could be without their top two post players from this year.

Redshirt sophomore Trevor Thompson, OSU’s usual starter, declared for the NBA draft over the weekend, taking advantage of new rules that allow players to test the waters and return as long as they don’t hire an agent.

Although Thompson is widely expected to come back to school, the Buckeyes have two post players committed in their 2016 recruiting class. Both players — Derek Funderburk and Micah Potter — are four-star prospects, according to ESPN.

David Bell, a 6-foot-10 redshirt freshman center, will be back in the frontcourt for OSU, as well. He appeared in 23 games for the Buckeyes, averaging 1.1 points and 1.5 rebounds per game. The potentially crowded frontcourt could have been a major reason for Giddens’ departure.

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