Mbakwe granted 6th seasonPublished 9:02am Friday, March 23, 2012
With the Minnesota Gophers men’s basketball team preparing to play in the National Invitational Tournament semifinals at Madison Square Garden, its star forward, Trevor Mbakwe, has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA.
WCCO-TV first reported on Thursday night that Mbakwe received medical clearance to play next season if he chooses to. Mbakwe tore his ACL on Nov. 27, 2011, during the title game of the Old Spice Classic against Dayton. The senior played in seven games this season and averaged 14 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.
After the initial reports of Mbakwe receiving medical clearance from the NCAA, he tweeted: “Sorry nothing to report at this time. I wish I had some good news to tell u right now. Keep your fingers crossed for me though.”
While the Gophers would welcome back Mbakwe, who is considered one of the best forwards in the nation, with open arms, it currently does not have any available scholarships for next season. The team’s coach, Tubby Smith, already has commitments from forward Charles Buggs and guard Wally Ellenson.
The Gophers are also rumored to be a potential landing spot for Trent Lockett, a former Hopkins star from Golden Valley who is seeking a release from his scholarship at Arizona State to be closer to his mother, who has cancer.
Lockett, a 6-foot-4-inch junior, was the Sun Devils’ leading rebounder and second-leading scorer after averaging 13 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.