The season was over before it started for Giles last season, who was kicked off the Kansas basketball team due to a number of issues off the court and academic problems. The talented big man decided to transfer to Oregon State, where he will be given every opportunity to shine this season, and where he must show progress on the court as well as maturity off the court to improve his draft stock.
Giles possesses excellent physical attributes for an NBA big man, starting with a 74 wingspan and an excellent frame which he has clearly worked on over the course of his college career. He has a picture perfect body for an NBA center, and the bulk he added during his two years at Kansas has not affected his athleticism one bit. When motivated, Giles runs the court like a guard, which led to some easy baskets for the Jay hawks two seasons ago.
Offensively, the 22 year old center has some decent tools, including a right handed hook shot that he relies on out of the post. In addition, he can step out to 17 feet and hit the open jumper with solid consistency. Due to his great length, Giles also picks up a number of garbage points inside, where it is nearly impossible for opposing bigs to stop him from scoring. Unfortunately, he has very little to work with in terms of moves in the post, and his left hand was non-existent during his two seasons at Kansas. Giles also has struggles with catching the ball as well, even though he usually establishes great position on the low block.
On defense, Giles has a rare combination of timing, athleticism, and length that makes him a potentially great shot-blocker. During his sophomore year, he started to put these tools to work, especially with his man to man defense in the low post. As a help defender, the talented center missed far too many rotations to have a big impact as a weak-side shot-blocker. Giles also has the potential to become a very good rebounder, though he relies on length and athleticism at this point rather than using his body to gain position. He often loses the inside position anyway by attempting to block shots despite his lack of position to do so. Right now, most everything regarding his draft stock has to do with his potential and size, and not production.
This will be a telling season for Giles both on and off the court. If he finally gets his act together and shows progress on the court, he could easily make himself a first round pick in the 2008 NBA draft. Oregon State will rely heavily on his play in the middle this season, so he should have every chance to show hes made strides with his game in his red-shirt season. Few prospects have the natural gifts that Giles possesses, but some added maturity will go a long way in proving hes ready to make the leap to the next level.