NBA Draft: The case against picking Michael Gbinije

first_imgEye testWhile I do believe Gbinije’s experience helps more than it hurts given his projected landing spot, there’s nothing sexy about a 24-year-old in the NBA Draft. That’s just the way some teams will look at it.And this may be picky, but for how much Gbinije seemed to improve as a 3-point shooter, he was far less effective from beyond the arc against better teams. He went a combined 1-for-14 from deep in the Sweet 16, Elite Eight and Final Four, along with a paltry 3-for-28 from deep in two other games against UNC, one against Louisville, one against Miami and another against Notre Dame. He shot better from long range against Duke, Virginia and Pittsburgh, but a more consistent stroke would do wonders for a player whose 3-point shooting really only came into its own this past season.If the eye of teams picks up on that trend, compounded with a team’s possible preference to favor what a younger player has yet to do rather than what one like Gbinije has, he could start to fall deeper into the second round.Daily Orange File PhotoWing manWhile Gbinije ran the fastest three-quarters-court sprint of any player at the combine, his lateral quickness wasn’t as eye-popping. He’ll need that more, as he’s likely to match up on the wing rather than on an opposing point guard.He was one of the ACC’s best defensive players, leading the league with 1.92 steals per game, but in the NBA there won’t be a 2-3 zone to lurk at the top of and pick off passes with his long arms.He’ll have to find another way to be disruptive on the defensive end, but for now the jury is still out. Comments Published on June 18, 2016 at 11:55 am Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Michael Gbinije is going to be picked in the NBA Draft — it’s just a matter of where. There’s a chance he slips toward the back end of the second round, but it likely wouldn’t be a product of his performance at the pre-draft combine.Gbinije entered the draft process with a polished repertoire after starring at Syracuse in an unexpected Final Four run. But his game doesn’t quite fit the bill of a sure-fire NBA player yet. The lack of sample size at positions he would likely play in the league, the eye test working against him and his lack of experience as a wing defender may do more harm than good next Thursday.Here’s more on why a team is better off waiting until the tail end of the draft to take the former SU point guard rather than spending a fringe first round or early second-round pick on him.Daily Orange File PhotoAdvertisementThis is placeholder textSample sizeGbinije really only has one season playing point guard under his belt, if that’s the position an NBA team decides to use him at. And at the two-guard spot, Gbinije had little time that came down the stretch of the season with Frank Howard running the floor, but not much else than that.Sure, he’s shown capabilities to play both. But just like teams may be hesitant to take a player such as Thon Maker due to lack of live game action, they could justifiably pass on Gbinije for doubts of whether he can truly play the one or two in the NBA.He could always go back to playing small forward — he played the point for Syracuse out of necessity, after all — but then again it’s a position he hasn’t played primarily in over a year.MORE COVERAGENBA Draft: The case for picking Michael GbinijeNBA Draft: The case for picking Malachi RichardsonNBA Draft: The case against picking Malachi RichardsonOn the beat: NBA Draft preview and a look ahead to the 2016-17 Syracuse basketball seasonlast_img read more

Chumba, Kiplagat eye Chicago Marathon repeats

first_imgAnother intriguing challenger is Kenyan Stephen Sambu, making his marathon debut.Sambu, who has been outstanding in shorter distance road races since graduating from the University of Arizona in 2012, warmed up for the event with a victory in the seven-mile Falmouth Road Race in August.In the women’s race, Kiplagat will try to become the first woman to win back-to-back titles since Berhane Adere of Ethiopia in 2006 and 2007.Kiplagat made her decisive surge in the 25th mile last year to pull away from Ethiopians Yebrqual Melese and Birhane Dibaba.Fellow Kenyan Edna Kiplagat, who is the only other woman in the field to have run faster than 2:20, will make be running in Chicago for the first time, as will Ethiopian Gulume Chala.The other former champion in the field is Atsede Baysa, who won in Chicago in 2010 and 2012, while Melese returns vying to improve on her runner-up finish of last year.Paris Marathon winner Visiline Jepkesho, who represented Kenya at the Rio Olympics, is also in the field. Chicago, United States | AFP | Kenyans Dickson Chumba and Florence Kiplagat aim to defend their titles at the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, with 2012 winner Tsegaye Kebede out to spoil Chumba’s repeat bid in the Windy City.Chumba pulled away in the final three miles to lead a Kenyan sweep of the podium last year in 2hr 09min 25sec, with Sammy Kitwara second and Sammy Ndungu third.It was the slowest time in Chicago since 2007 after organizers opted not to use pace-setters.The 29-year-old Chumba, who finished third in Tokyo in 2:07:34 in his only prior marathon this year, is expected to face a strong challenge from Ethiopia’s Kebede, whose 2012 time of 2:04:38 was a personal best and then-course record.Kebede is also remembered for a thrilling 2010 duel in Chicago with Sammy Wanjiru, who emerged with the victory.World record-holder Dennis Kimetto was initially scheduled to race but was forced to withdraw due to a leg injury.Three other men in the field have run 2:07 or better, including Ethiopian Abayney Ayele — who clocked 2:06:45 in Dubai this year — and Chumba’s fellow Kenyans Abel Kirui and Micah Kogo.Kogo is still seeking a first marathon victory. He set his personal best of 2:06:56 in finishing fourth in Chicago in 2013. Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Baseball greats toast Hank Aaron for 80th birthday

first_imgBaseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron speaks at a reception in his honor, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, in Washington. Aaron is turning 80 and is being celebrated with a series of events in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)WASHINGTON (AP) — At a hotel overlooking the White House, Attorney General Eric Holder motioned toward a window and paid Hank Aaron a huge compliment.“The young man who lives right over there,” Holder said Friday night, speaking of President Barack Obama, “his path was made easier by this man.”Forty years ago, Aaron broke the hallowed record of Babe Ruth on his way to 755 career home runs, all while combating racism with quiet dignity.On Friday evening at a private party celebrating his 80th birthday, friends, former teammates, and baseball luminaries paid tribute to “Hammerin’ Hank.”Slugger Reggie Jackson compared Aaron to Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947. Frank Robinson spoke of the thrill of entering the Hall of Fame with Aaron in 1982.Former teammate Robin Yount said he was his mother’s second-favorite player — right behind Aaron.Aaron was last to speak and grew emotional as he talked of his parents, recalling an afternoon when he and his brother were called into the house and ordered to hide under beds. Minutes later, members of the Ku Klux Klan marched up their street.“I don’t know what that could have done to me growing up,” Aaron said. “But my mother — she was uneducated and father, too — but they always taught me and all of my siblings that the thing I want you to remember is, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ That’s been my philosophy.”As the ceremony came to a close at the Hay-Adams hotel, Aaron and his wife of 40 years, Billie, beamed as the crowd sang “Happy Birthday.”Aaron turned 80 on Wednesday. His tribute continued on Saturday when he spoke as part of the Living Portrait Series at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.In addition, a painting of Aaron, done by Ross Rossin of Atlanta, was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery.Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, left, listens as fellow Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith, right, speaks at a reception for Aaron, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, in Washington. Aaron turned 80 this weekand is being celebrated with a series of events in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)Other speakers on Friday night included Hall of Famers Jim Rice, Rickey Henderson and Ozzie Smith, who grew up in Aaron’s hometown of Mobile, Ala., idolizing the outfielder who played for the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers.“He showed me the way a person should be,” Smith said. “He inspired me and thousands of others.”Bud Selig, commissioner of Major League Baseball, spoke of his friendship with Aaron, which dated to 1958.Selig also talked of the overdue acceptance of Aaron in a career in which he was often overshadowed by Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays.“I’m not so sure people understand what a great all-around player he was,” Selig said. “He played in Milwaukee. He played in Atlanta. I think it was only maybe after he broke Babe Ruth’s record — and in the last 20 years — that he’s got the wonderful recognition that he so extraordinarily deserved.”NOTES: Selig had no comment on Alex Rodriguez dropping his lawsuit against the commissioner, Major League Baseball and the players’ association, referring to a press release earlier in the day. … Former teammate and popular broadcaster Bob Uecker got the laugh of the night when he spoke of meeting Aaron for the first time as a member of the Braves. “Henry dressed a couple lockers from where I was,” Uecker said. “I said hello. He said, ‘What do you do?’ I said, ‘I’m a catcher.’ He said, “For who?”last_img read more