The Syracuse Orange basketball season feels like it's a long way off... because it is. But that doesn't mean news is scarce.
In a season where expectations may be tempered, but the returning players are looking for some redemption after last year's postseason ban, there will be a host of interesting storylines to dissect as we get closer to November. One of those is the role of breakout star Michael Gbinije, who could very well be a All-ACC (at minimum) when preseason rankings start coming out.
The senior sat down with Syracuse.com's Donna Ditota yesterday at his parent's home to chat about last year, the 2015-16 season and more. You should check that out here, but some of the hightlights are below:
First, regarding the point guard position, it certainly seems like Gbinije could be the starter (over Kaleb Joseph) when the season begins. Or at the very least, he's in contention for that spot. As he told Ditota:
"...It's going to be the first time in my career I'm going to start at the point guard and then play it. It's kind of exciting and I'm ready for it."
He went on to clarify that it's not his decision at the end of the day, but he is excited for the possibility (and perhaps, we should be too).
On the NBA Draft, it seems he really was close to declaring this past offseason, but maybe not for the motivations you'd think. As Ditota asks him if he'd seriously thought to leave:
"Yeah, I did. That's more because if I came back, I would have to take classes. And no one wants to take classes.
But the team itself, playing for Syracuse basketball, I definitely enjoy that. I'm so glad I made the decision to transfer to Syracuse. That's been one of the best decisions of my life."
(His dad's entertaining interjection of "this is going in print" after the line about classes is enjoyable. Either he's very conscious of the image issue SU might have right now, or he doesn't want his son to be the next Cardale Jones. Either/or.)
Silent G goes on to discuss some of the things he's been doing to improve his footwork this offseason, and other things that have helped him enjoy his time at Syracuse (his girlfriend and dog, in particular). Ditota also asks him about Dajuan Coleman's health, which... YEAH WE WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THAT, PLEASE!
"I do expect him to be healthy this year. I think we will see DC for most of the year. It's tough. We don't truly know if he's going to be ready until the time comes. But he's been playing pickup with us and he looked pretty good. He looked physical and dominant so hopefully he can stay healthy. With him healthy, we're a better team."
He is definitely correct there, especially as this group learns to get along without Rakeem Christmas in the middle...
Gbinije closes with his keys to the season for the Orange. I doubt you'll argue with any of them:
"Trev has to be Trev, Michael has to be swaggy and DC has to be healthy."
Michael has to be swaggy, indeed.