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June 23, 2016

Michael Gbinije

Brooklyn, New York

THE MODERATOR: Could you just start with an opening statement, feelings about the day so far.

MICHAEL GBINIJE: It's been a crazy day so far, a lot of anxiety, just waiting to hear your name called. So grateful for the opportunity right now, special shout-out to the Pistons. It's nice to know the team believes in me, and I'm ready to get it going.

Q. How did Jim Boeheim prepare you for the NBA?
MICHAEL GBINIJE: I think our offense was a lot of pick-and-roll, and the NBA obviously does a lot of pick-and-roll, and just me being at the point guard position, just basically running pick-and-roll almost every other play, I think that fits the offense pretty well.

Q. When people say you're going to be 24 and your age, what's your response to that?
MICHAEL GBINIJE: I mean, there's pros to being 24. You know, you learn more. You know more going into it, battle tested, had to deal with adversity throughout my whole college career. That's the bright side of it. Obviously you know it's a young man's draft, but I'm just looking forward to using my wisdom and experience.

Q. How did the coaching staff of Boeheim, Hop, G-Mac and Coach Adrian Autry prepare you for going into the NBA, four great coaches all with great careers? How did that help you transition into playing in the NBA?
MICHAEL GBINIJE: Just playing for a Hall-of-Famer with Boeheim in itself, USA coach, as well, you just learn a lot playing under him. He teaches me offensively my reads at the point guard spot. He basically turned me into a point guard. They did a good job of developing me when I was there and just helping me grow off the court, as well.

Q. When you're not really sure which teams are going to be interested in you, how does it feel to be on a contender and having a chance to play right away?
MICHAEL GBINIJE: That is a great, great feeling. I thought they put up a fight or at least competed as best as they could. You always want to play for a team that makes the Playoffs, and Detroit is a tough team. Got a lot of expectations for the season coming up, and it's always great to have that.

Q. What are your personal expectations of yourself coming into this season?
MICHAEL GBINIJE: You know, I've got to hang my hat on defense. That's probably going to be my role, if I do play, obviously. Just try to take care of the ball as best as possible, and if I'm open, hit a shot.

Q. When you're projected to go in the second round, it's going to be a long wait. So what's that feeling like as the draft is going along and maybe not having any idea where you're going to go?
MICHAEL GBINIJE: It's a lot of anxiety. My heart is still beating right now, and I got drafted, so you can imagine. I have a lot of friends in the draft, so you're happy to see them going. I rooted for Malachi, the guys in Roc Nation, as well. Made some friends in the Combine. So you see guys that you made bonds with get drafted. It's always nice to see that.

Q. Now that you're in the league, do you think you're going to slow down a little bit on the video games and the FIFA or are you going to focus more on basketball?
MICHAEL GBINIJE: I'm definitely going to slow down. Basketball was always the major key, and now that I'm associated with the Pistons, it's definitely my focus right now.

Q. Do you have a favorite video game?
MICHAEL GBINIJE: 2K now. Looking forward to playing with myself on the next 2K, so I'm going to start practicing.

Q. What part of your game do you still have to work on? And also, what is it like making the transition from the college game into the pros?
MICHAEL GBINIJE: I think the biggest transition is obviously the speed of the game. Guys are more athletic on the next level. You know, the game is faster, as well, mentally, so you've got to be prepared. You've got to go into games and go into practices and just having the mindset of mature right away.

Q. Who is your dream NBA match-up?
MICHAEL GBINIJE: That's tough. Wow. I guess having a chance to match up against Steph Curry. Just being a point guard and seeing the success that he's had over these past years, he's a guy that I definitely look up to shooting the ball-wise, and just being on the same court as him now is going to be a joy.

Q. How do you think the Final Four appearance has helped you going into the NBA?
MICHAEL GBINIJE: I think it's prepared me just instilling a more competitive attitude mentally. The tournament is basically do or die, and I think the most fierce competitors really come out of that successfully. You know, I learned a lot. Success really comes through trial and error, and you're going to get knocked down a lot, and our Syracuse team definitely did that during the regular season. But as long as you keep the right mindset and think positive and keep putting the work in, I think good things will come. That's probably the biggest thing I learned from the tournament.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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