Giles finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds off the bench in Rutgers win against no. 19 Iowa on Sunday.
Rutgers leading scorers Arella Guirantes and Tekia Mack both told me that Mael Giles is the hidden gem on this team.
On a team and program that’s built on defense, Giles is an ideal piece. The 6’1 Canadian junior can defend multiple positions with her length and mobility. Offensively she gives the Scarlet Knights unique versatility of blossoming potential, which they might need to surface this month in order to make a run.
Giles doesn’t score at volume, though she’s scored in double-digits in three of the last five games. She’s shown the ability to contribute to scoring in different ways and at all levels.
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Essentially it’s Giles who plays the pivotal glue role for Rutgers. She will knock down open kick-out threes and fly in for timely offensive rebounds. She may not be a prolific playmaker but she certainly makes plays.
Most of the Rutgers offense is generated by Big Ten scoring leader Arella Guirantes, along with Tekia Mack and point guard KK Sanders. The Scarlet Knights have been most dangerous when three to four players are engaged and in a rhythm offensively.
With more aggression and opportunities, Giles can provide the kind of impact the Scarlet Knights could need during the Big Ten Tournament starting on Thursday.
Her season-high for field goal attempts (12 vs. Towson) was also the game she scored her season-high of 17 points. A small sample size but still an indicator that she’s capable of capitalizing.
Giles has come up big enough for the Scarlet Knights throughout the season to impact some of their most important wins. Rutgers could use plenty of her influence and confidence in order to make a successful Big Ten Tournament run.