The NBA hoop dreams of Minnesota Golden Gophers four Trevor Mbakwe will wait another year. And that’s a probably a good thing because it gives him a chance to answer scouts questions about his after the injury.
Mbakwe has been granted a sixth year of eligibility, putting the Marquette transfer within the same category as former Northwestern center Evan Eschmeyer. It seemed like Eschmeyer was in Evanston forever during the 1990s; it was in actuality six years. Mbakwe suffered an ACL tear to his right knee against Dayton in November and was lost for the remainder of the season. He underwent surgery on Dec. 30 to repair the knee.
“The NCAA made the right decision,” said Golden Gopher head coach Tubby Smith. “Trevor has done everything we have asked of him for three years now and he deserves the right to compete for a sixth season.”
Mbakwe, named to the Preseason All-Big Ten First Team and to the John R. Wooden award watch list, was leading the Gophers in scoring (14.0 ppg) and rebounding (9.1 rpg) at the time of the injury (seven games). The leading rebounder for Team USA at the World University Games this summer, Mbakwe made an impact in his first season in Gold Country, finishing with a Big Ten Conference-best 10.5 rebounds per game as a junior.
Mbakwe also averaged a team-high 13.9 points per game to become the first Gopher player to average a double-double since Kris Humphries (You know that guy, Mr. Kim Kardashian for about 12 minutes) did so during the 2003-4 season.
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