Trevor Mbakwe of the Minnesota Gophers has once again made headlines. This time it’s because Mbakwe has tweeted that he will pay back his scholarship if Minnesota does not make the tournament this year.
Mbakwe has recently received negative press involving violations of probation that could have potentially resulted in jail time. However, the verdict resulted in Mbakwe avoiding jail time and returning to Minnesota for his sixth and final year.
The Gophers took on Minnesota State-Mankato in an exhibition game Thursday night where Mbakwe made his return onto the court. The crowd of nearly 9,000 people welcomed him back with an overwhelming standing ovation.
Mbakwe is still working to prove himself and earn his spot after being out for a year with the trial for his probation violations and another year with an ACL tear. It is evident that Mbakwe still has a ways to go before he will be able to make a significant impact on this Gophers team.
Head coach Tubby Smith did not play Mbakwe until 12 minutes into the game.
Mbakwe is very confident in his team and the impact he will have on the success of his team or he wouldn’t have agreed to pay tuition back. This is risky for a guy that is still trying to earn a spot in Smith’s rotation.
The Gophers made it to the NIT title game last year without Mbakwe, so will he give them the edge to finally make an appearance in the NCAA tournament?
Only time will tell, but I’m sure Mbakwe will make sure to tweet about it.