Former Duke Blue Devil Michael Gbinije has been a lot of things for the Syracuse Orange this year. Senior face of the team. Leading scorer. And a consistent presence on the floor, reaching the 10-point plateau each time he's taken the floor.
With another 28 points, he'll join two pretty exclusive clubs to go along with those accolades.
Syracuse.com's Mike Waters tells us that Gbinije will be just the third transfer player to score 1,000 points under Jim Boeheim if he manages to score 28 before the season is out. The other names on that list? Leo Rautins and Ryan Blackwell.
Rautins scored 1,031 points from 1980-1983, while Blackwell managed 1,175 from 1997-2000. Both were recruited hard by Syracuse, but ultimately chose Big Ten schools (Minnesota and Illinois, respectively), before coming back around to the Orange as rare transfers under Boeheim. Both Rautins and Blackwell spoke to Waters on the scarcity of transfers since Boeheim began coaching SU, and some commonalities between the three of them.
"Boeheim is very selective when it comes to taking transfers. Normally, that's not a route he likes to go. I was the first transfer and there haven't been many over the years. The times he's done it, it's definitely been validated by the type of people and how they play the game.''
"He knew who we were. They'd recruited us and scouted us for a long time. I'm sure that helped a little bit.''
Rautins also looks at the three players and the similarities in their respective games. As Waters highlights in the piece as well, none of them were "scorers," necessarily. In reality, they were/are all very versatile:
"If you look at the three of us, I think that we all share the common denominator that we impacted the game in a variety of ways beyond scoring 1,000 points. We all contributed by rebounding the ball and passing the ball. We defended and we scored. We were more well-rounded players than most.''
Along with that very exclusive club, Gbinije's other, more clear-cut honor is simply scoring 1,000 points in his Orange career -- something just 60 other players (including current teammate Trevor Cooney) have done in program history. Should the fifth-year senior's scoring average of 17 points per game hold through the final three games of this regular season and at least one ACC Tournament game, he'll end up with 1,040 on his career -- a mark just below Rakeem Christmas (1,046) and just above none other than Leo Rautins. If SU's year can extend longer than that, he could potentially play himself into the top-50 all-time. Cooney, who passed 1,000 earlier this season (with an extra year in Orange compared to Silent G), currently sits in 36th place with 1,327.