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Michael Gbinije Starting for SU Shouldn’t be a Surprise

The first thought through my mind when I saw Jon Rothstein’s tweet yesterday was surprise that it wasn’t already official. Of course Gbinije was going to be the starting point guard. Who else would it be? Kaleb Joseph? Not after the way last year ended with Kaleb getting benched in favor of Gbinije. So of course Gbinije will start at point guard.

This is what the Orange and Jim Boeheim have been grooming Gbinije for since he came to SU as a Duke transfer. The Orange has wanted Gbinije to be the big, athletic point guard, in a mold of MCW. Of course, Gbinije has a different skill set than MCW, but the body-type is similar.

Overall, this is good news for the Orange. Gbinije came on strong at the end of last year. Especially when the postseason ban was already in effect, and there may have been less pressure on the team—or at least a less critical viewing of the team by fans.

Gbinije played well last year, averaging 13 points on a team where he wasn’t the first option. He hit on nearly 40% of his 3 point shots, and 46% overall. We saw was Gbinije can do, including his offensive explosion against Duke. This is a good thing for the Orange. In my mind, it does not raise any red flags that Jim Boeheim is doing the obvious.

This move puts the best players on the floor as the starters. It also puts a slightly more experienced player on the bench to come on as reinforcements. This also does not diminish Gbinije’s versatility. He can still play the forward spot and give the Orange some depth up front. It just means that Kaleb would come in to run the offense while Gbinije plays on the wing.

As for defense, just because Gbinije is the point guard on defense doesn’t mean he cannot play down low on the 2-3 zone. He can still play down low, and allow Trevor Cooney and Malachi Richardson to play the top of the zone. That is not an issue.

Not only do I love this move, I expected it. I just thought we wouldn’t know officially that this was the case until the first game. The report yesterday just accelerated the process.


Posted By: Seth Goldberg

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


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