Friday, March 23, 2012

Gopher Gab: Mbakwe Granted Sixth Season

By Jason Rossow

Gopher Basketball news just keeps on getting better.

The NCAA has officially given Trevor Mbakwe a sixth season of eligibility, and it sounds like Mr. Mbakwe is planning on using the extra season to return to the Gophers!

In other news, former Hopkins star and Arizona State standout Trent Lockett said his mom is battling cancer and hopes to play closer to home next year. Lockett is set to graduate in the summer and could transfer to a different school and play immediately as he will have already graduated. Lockett is the best player on the Sun Devil’s team, scoring 13 points a game, and adding 6 rebounds and 2.2 assists. He hasn’t specifically mentioned any schools with his “close to home” statement, but the Gophers would have to look appealing for his last year of college. The problem would be that Minnesota is maxed on scholarships if Mbakwe returns, and unless someone left or had their scholarship taken away, Lockett would need to pay his own way to be on the team. Regardless of where he ends up, we wish him and his mother all the best.

IF the stars align, you could potentially see a line-up with Mbakwe, Williams, Lockett, and Austin and Andre Hollins. Not to mention a bench that includes Mo Walker, Elliot Eliason, Joe Coleman, Julian Welch, Andre Igram, Oto Osenieks, Maverick Ahanmisi and Chip Armelin. It would be the entire Final 4 team of this year’s NIT with the addition of one of the best players in the Big10 in Mbakwe, one of the best players in the PAC12 in Lockett, and Mo Walker (the 300-lb. giant in the middle). Oh, and you also add freshman Charles Buggs & Wayne Ellenson. This would likely be the most experienced team in the nation, with top 10-15 talent level.

Of course, this Gopher team does have the word "Minnesota" on their jerseys, so we can assume this won’t all work out as hoped. But it’s nice to dream for a day anyway.

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