According to a report first published by NationOfOrange.com Friday night, Duke freshman guard/forward Michael Gbinije will transfer to Syracuse after just one year with the Blue Devils. Gbinije, out of the Benedictine School in Richmond, Virginia, is reportedly visiting Syracuse this weekend and apparently has already decided to make the switch.
The 6’6", 205 pound Gbinije (pronounced "Ben-uh-jay", thanks to the Post-Standard for that) was the 35th ranked overall recruit and 9th small forward of the high school class of 2011 as rated by Yahoo/Scout. ESPN had him ranked 29th and 7th, respectively. He played sparingly in his lone season in Durham, averaging 5.8 minutes, 1.7 points, 0.8 rebounds, and 0.2 assists in 19 games. He wore #13 for the Devils, and will turn 20 in early June.
Gbinije’s transfer adds to the Orange’s already impressive recruiting haul. Current high school senior forward/center DaJuan Coleman of Jamesville, New York and guard/forward Jerami Grant of Hyattsville, Maryland have already signed with the Orange for 2012-13. Unless he is granted a waiver Gbinije will have to sit out for one season, so he will be in the same class as Coleman and Grant, at least athletically. He will have three years of eligibility left when he suits up for the Orange in the fall of 2013.
The addition of Gbinije to the Orange roster still leaves a couple of scholarships available should Jim Boeheim and his staff choose to use them. Seniors Kris Joseph, Scoop Jardine, and Brandon Reese are graduating next month, and sophomores Dion Waiters and Fab Melo have left early for the NBA Draft. The status of junior Mookie Jones is still up in the air at this time.