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Michael Gbinije Departs

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Update - he's gone.

We don't know if this is real or one of those stories that emerges unsourced from a single Web site, but the rumors about Michael Gbinije transferring have hit the mainstream press.

We hope it's not true. A lot of guys don't play a lot their freshman year and go on to be major factors for their team, with Nolan Smith as a very recent example. But there are a lot: Nate James, Brian Zoubek, Greg Koubek, Alaa Abdelnaby, Dan Meaghar, Kevin Strickland, Matt Christensen, Marty Clark, Antonio Lang, Steve Wojciechowski, Sean Dockery and Gerald Henderson, to name a few.

On the other hand, some guys who left didn't exactly work out as they might have hoped: Bill Jackman, Christian Ast, Joey Beard, Mike Chappell, Eric Boateng, Jamal Boykin, Olek Czyz, Chris Burgess and Taylor King all left early, hoping for greener pastures which never really arrived.

Billy McCaffrey is the only one we can think of who really excelled after leaving, and that was really just for one season.

The point?

Gbinije is a talented kid, more talented than most of the guys on this list.

Talent isn't the end of it though. Czyz is remarkably talented. That hasn't gotten him on anyone's NBA draft radar since he departed for Nevada.

Playing time aside, there's always the question of happiness, which is really more important. As much as we hate to see anyone leave, if you're not happy, that's hard to overcome. You only get four years in college to play basketball (realistically, no one who is one-and-done is likely to transfer), and it should be a great experience.

Jamal Boykin is in that category. He tried really hard at Duke but ultimately realized he wasn't happy with his situation, so he went to Cal, which was probably the right decision.

It's hard to tell anyone no if that's the issue. But all too often, you get the sense that kids today are sometimes just impatient.

When you look at how things worked out for Smith, James, Henderson and Zoubek, among others, and the happiness they found after they took the time to develop, they clearly made the right choice to work through the hard times.

If Gbinije is truly considering transferring, we hope that his main concern is his happiness rather than his role. He can change either of them, of course, but happiness is a lot more important to one's life.

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