Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Elusive Triple Double

Triple Doubles are a rare commodity in college basketball.  There have only been nine triple doubles recorded in Syracuse Orange history; the last one occurred 14 seasons ago when Allen Griffin accomplished it against Pitt with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.  Lazarus Sims, Derrick Coleman, Leo Rautins (3 times) and Dave Bing (3 times) are the only other Orangemen to accomplish the feat.  

Michael Carter-Williams was the perfect type of player to get a triple double.  A tall point guard who liked to drive the lane, and was strong at offensive rebounding.  It seemed destined he would complete the feat after some near misses, but he never did.  The other style of player to get a triple double is a forward who is adept at passing  (ala Leo Rautins), but the Orange have not had a player of that style for a while.

Michael Gbinije
Michael Gbinije
Michael Gbinije might be able to get the triple double, if the stars align correctly.  Gbinije is Syracuse's starting small forward, but he spends a lot of time running the offense at the point.  In two of the last three games, Gbinije has had double digit rebounding efforts.  The Wake Forest game is the closest he has come to a triple double when he had 11 rebounds, 7 assists and 17 points.  

Gbinije's career high in assists is 8, which he did against Long Beach State earlier this year. He had 6 rebounds and 24 points in that game.

10 assists will be tough for Gbinije to get. Syracuse is not a high scoring team, and therefore there is a smaller potential for assists to begin with.   If he had a good night of feeding Trevor Cooney and Rakeem Christmas, and they both had big scoring nights, that could help him a lot. But right now there really are only three scoring threats on the Orange: Cooney, Christmas, and Gbinije, and Gbinije cannot get an assist to himself.  A big game by Tyler Roberson or another Orange player would help.

Gbinije is more likely to get 5-6 rebounds in a game than 10, but he does have that potential.

I do not think he will accomplish the feat.  He does get the playing time, but I think the assists will be out of his reach.  But I will be rooting for him to do it.

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