Gbinije picks Duke

Staff WriterMarch 13, 2010 

Michael Gbinije, a 6-foot-6, 180-pound junior at Richmond (Va.) Benedictine High, said Thursday he will accept a basketball scholarship to Duke.

Scout.com, a national recruiting Web site, has Gbinije No. 14 in its national rankings.

Gbinije committed to the Blue Devils days after visiting Durham for Duke's overwhelming victory against North Carolina last week.

Gbinije took a longer view when he chose Duke, though.

Benedictine coach Sean McAloon said that Gbinije took Duke's early inquiries seriously.

"Duke basketball is like Notre Dame football. A lot of people love it, and a lot of people hate it," McAloon said. "But for Michael it began and ended with Coach K. I mean, he is the U.S. Olympic coach.

"And when Michael finishes his career, whether he plays in the league or overseas, he is going to have a Duke degree. He is going to be set for life."

Gbinije is averaging 17.8 points and 6 rebounds for a 23-7 Benedictine.

McAloon said Gbinije is a good shooter and gets to the rim well.

"There are things he can improve on, but he is just a junior," McAloon said.

"At the next level, he is going to need to be stronger. I think his game is going to translate very well on the next level."

Dave Telep, the director of recruiting for Scout.com, said Gbinije is smooth and talented.

"He is going to blend in very well at Duke," Telep said. "Michael is a very intelligent player and has played in a disciplined, structured system."

Gbinije is Duke's first commitment in the Class of 2011.

The Blue Devils are expected to bring in point guard Kyrie Irving of Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick, point guard Tyler Thornton of Washington (D.C.) Gonzaga and power forward Josh Hairston of Rockville (Md.) Montrose next fall.

tim.stevens@newsobserver.com or 919-829-8910

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