Nigeria and Syracuse University forward, Michael Gbinije, was one of 20 players named to the Julius Erving Award watch list on Tuesday, an award presented by the Basketball Hall of Fame to the best small forward in the United States.
Gbinije, according to pundits, will be a fascinating player to watch this season for the Orange. His potential to dominate was clear at times last season, and he increased his production as the year progressed.
Gbinije averaged 12.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists while shooting efficiently from both the field (46 percent) and 3-point range (39.2 percent). He’ll be asked to carry even more of the load for Syracuse this year, likely increasing those numbers.
Gbinije, a member of Nigeria’s D’Tigers team that won the 2015 African Basketball Championship in Tunisia, is one of four ACC players among the candidates. Duke’s Brandon Ingram, Louisville’s Damion Lee and North Carolina’s Justin Jackson are also on the list.
The watch list was created by a US national committee of college basketball personnel. The list will be narrowed to 10 players in February. Arizona’s Stanley Johnson on the award last season.