The Twitterverse is littered with appelations like @RealSkipBayless and @NotTheFakeSVP, and for good reason. Smart-alecks the world round enjoy pretending to be famous people, and according to internet law, if you nab the name first, it’s yours, even if it’s, you know, not really your name.
Beyond that, even some of the so-called “@Real” and “@NotFake” accounts are ersatz. The only way to know which tweets really come from your favorite writers and athletes is to look for the checkmark that notes a verified account. (Side note: should I be offended that nobody out there is pretending to be me?)
With that in mind, if you see anyone claiming to be Syracuse sophomore Michael Gbinije on Twitter, know right now that it’s not him. As the Syracuse Post-Standard is reporting, Gbinije doesn’t even have a Twitter account, so @TheRealGbinije is, well, full of it.
Gbinije, the Duke transfer who sat out this season at SU because of NCAA stipulations, has learned to laugh at these kinds of misrepresentations. He quit Twitter while still at Duke, he said, around the same time the first fake Gbinije account surfaced. TheRealGbinije is fake Gbinije account No. 2.
All this by way of saying that as you search for anything college hoops-related at all during this long off-season, beware your sources. In fact, it’s probably best just to check in with CBT throughout each day if you want the straight scoop on anything.
Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.
After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.
Video credit: Wyoming Athletics
Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.
Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.
Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.
Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.
Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.
But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.