NBA Draft: Michael Gbinije tries to answer the questions he faces coming out of Syracuse

first_imgMichael Gbinije had prepared for the moment. He’d heard the whispers from other guys who had already been through Boston. He’d run more than normal on the treadmill. He knew the Boston Celtics worked their prospects hard before making them compete in one final conditioning drill.In the afternoon on May 21, the former Syracuse point guard felt good when he found himself at the end line of the Celtics practice facility in Waltham, Massachusetts, ready to run as many sprints as he could in three minutes.“It’s competitive,” Gbinije said. “You’ve got the front office people watching, the coaches watching. Regardless of how you played in (the scrimmages) before, you have one last chance. … I wanted nothing left in the tank leaving the workout.”Twenty-seven times he made it up and down the court. There were a handful of prospects there and Gbinije said he was bested only by former Louisville guard Damion Lee, who managed 29.Gbinije eventually completed the same drill for the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers. By the time the NBA Draft starts on Thursday at 8 p.m., Gbinije will have worked out for 15 teams. Those teams combine to hold every pick from No. 27 to No. 47, among others. That range corresponds with most mock drafts, which project him in the late-first or mid-second round.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textKiran Ramsey | Web DesignerBy then, he’ll have finished all his preparation: Studying an NBA superstar, working out with a famous trainer and answering all the questions front offices have for a fifth-year senior who took longer than most to figure out his best position on the floor. And the school at which he could play it. And at a program with an unusual brand of defense.“The first question every team asks is, ‘Can he guard man-to-man?’” said Frank Gbinije, Michael’s father. “And obviously he’s showed that he can, in AAU, at Duke and on the Nigeria national team. … Quite frankly, he would prefer man-to-man (to zone) because he wants to chase the ball.”That’s a question that’s stalked many Syracuse players after leaving the Orange’s signature 2-3 zone. But what that man-to-man question really means, multiple people said, is: Does he have enough speed for NBA point guards? The size for small forwards?There are more questions surrounding Gbinije because of his lack of stability. He started at Duke, then transferred to Syracuse and sat out a season. He didn’t get much playing time his first year in orange then found some consistency as a forward — only to shift from the wing and reinvent himself as a point guard for his last season.All that change leaves most scouting reports with the basic information spun different ways: He recently turned 24. It’s too late to develop him. Or, he’s primed to be a low-maintenance contributor on a win-now team.He is 6-foot-7 and 205 pounds. That’s too small for forward or too slow for guard. Or, his frame and skillset fit perfectly into an NBA trending toward smaller lineups when he could handle the ball at forward. He is ‘fundamentally sound,’ in many reports. He has a low ceiling because he is decent everywhere but excels nowhere. Or, that shows intelligence, versatility and potential upside when given a role.Gbinije’s assets are known. What he’ll do with them is not.MORE COVERAGE:NBA Draft: The case for picking Michael GbinijeNBA Draft: The case against 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 season Related Stories On the beat: NBA Draft preview and a look ahead to the 2016-17 Syracuse basketball seasonNBA Draft: The case against picking Michael GbinijeNBA Draft: The case for picking Michael GbinijeNBA Draft: The case against picking Malachi RichardsonNBA Draft: The case for picking Malachi Richardson Published on June 21, 2016 at 11:53 am Contact Sam: sjfortie@syr.edu | @Sam4TR The search for answers started immediately. After a two-week break following the Final Four to finish school, he flew from Syracuse to Los Angeles. There, he worked out with NBA trainer Rob McClanaghan, a former SU basketball walk-on who has worked with stars Stephen Curry, Jimmy Butler and Carmelo Anthony.They worked on shooting, another question from NBA teams. Gbinije shot 46.1 percent from the field and 39.2 percent from 3-point range in the last two seasons, but teams want to know if he’s a good enough pure shooter for that to translate.McClanaghan emphasized to Gbinije over six weeks the ability to adapt to the NBA game. When he wasn’t jetting around the country to team workouts, Gbinije spent about five days per week in high-intensity, 75-minute workouts: Shooting more from the new 3-point line off the catch and dribble, changing pace while handling the ball and maneuvering in the post.“I knew he was a good athlete, but he’s a sneaky athlete,” McClanaghan said. “He’ll creep up and dunk on you. I didn’t know he had that in him, but he definitely does. He’s very consistent. (NBA teams) will know what they’re getting.”“An attractive second-round gamble,” wrote Jonathan Wasserman on Bleacher Report.“He’ll be in the league a long time,” McClanaghan said.“There’s certainly a future for him overseas,” wrote Tajh Jenkins on NBADraft.net.“I’m a competitive, learning basketball player,” Gbinije said.He said he pitches himself to teams as someone who can make adjustments quickly, like that point guard switch. NBA teams have tried him out on and off the ball. Once he has a team, then Gbinije said he’ll adapt to the position they want him in.Daily Orange File PhotoHe likes learning, even from afar by watching, like he did with Oklahoma City superstar Kevin Durant.On May 6, the Thunder lost a late lead at home to the San Antonio Spurs in Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals. Despite playing nearly 42 minutes and the game ending around 11 p.m. local time, Durant arrived at Mahogany Steakhouse downtown not long after with his teammate Nazr Mohammed.Durant and Gbinije share the same agent at Roc Nation and said hello, but not much more. The Thunder superstar and Mohammed talked about the loss most of the night.“I was observing, seeing how he interacts with people, watching how he plays the game,” Gbinije said. “(Durant) doesn’t get tired. I came in on a flight, went to the game and then we were at (the steakhouse) until 2 a.m. Me and my agent were tired and this guy just played a full-out game, and he just had energy. That stood out to me.”He soaked up information from others, working out with and against projected lottery picks like Marquette’s Henry Ellenson and NBA players Jerami Grant and Ray McCallum. Gbinije played “very solid” against that level of competition, according to McClanaghan.After weeks of interviews and workouts, and years of playing in high-profile college games, Gbinije is ready to stop telling teams what he can do and start showing them.“Whatever (teams) don’t know about me,” Gbinije said. “They’re going to find out.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Expedia and Airlines Reporting Corporation global report

first_imgExpedia, in partnership with the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC), has released a new white paper, Preparing for Take-Off: Air Travel Trends 2015, which analyses a comprehensive set of global air travel data showcasing findings for travellers and those in the airline industry.This report represents analysis by Expedia, Inc.’s own data and data provided by Airlines Reporting Corporation, as well as other credible industry sources.Analysis of flight data shows increased demand is met with increased capacity in such a way that these two factors largely cancel each other out across most destinations.Paired with a decline in fuel prices, though, consumers should see slightly lower air ticket prices from most North American and European destinations in 2015.Locally in Australia, moderate growth in international and domestic travel likely will result in airfares dropping at lower rates when compared with previous years. Internationally, and most notably in Europe, the rising trend of low cost airlines continues to drive ticket prices lower due in part to the unbundling of services, thus prompting some of the legacy carriers to follow suit.Booking a package deal almost always will yield greater savings, the report suggests to be sure to look at air tickets purchased as part of a package that includes hotel and other travel services, such as rental car and/or activities.Locally, premium class bookings in APAC have grown tremendously in the last few years, practically doubling to about 11 percent of the total since 2013. Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more