Apr 16, 2012, 4:25 PM EDT
The Gophers’ power forward and best player announced that he’ll play during the 2012-13 season, likely elevating Minnesota to a top 25 team and giving the 6-8 rebounding machine a chance to bolster his status among NBA scouts. He had been considering a jump to the pros, but elected for another college season instead.
He announced the deed via YouTube, but those disinclined to watch video, here’s the standard statement:
“I have decided to remain at the University of Minnesota and am looking forward to the upcoming season,” Mbakwe said. “I think it is beneficial for many reasons. It gives me the opportunity to play another year of college basketball and hopefully contribute to a team that showed it can be dangerous. It also provides me with the opportunity to leave the university with a Master’s degree. That means a ton to me. Not many athletes have that chance to get multiple degrees during their stay and unfortunately it took an injury for me to have this opportunity but I am going to take full advantage of it.”
Mbakwe, who started his career at Marquette transferred to a Florida junior college before settling at Minnesota, tore his ACL on Nov. 27 and missed most of the season. He averaged 14.0 points and 9.1 rebounds in seven games. (Sophomore Chip Armelin had to transfer to ensure Mbakwe would have a scholarship, though.)
His return gives the Gophers (23-15) nearly every crucial player back from this year’s team that lost to Stanford in the NIT final.
You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.
- July Live Period Week Two Superlatives 0
- Seven Takeaways from the Under Armour Finals 0
- Iowa State’s Georges Niang carries extra motivation – and less weight – into 2014-15 0
- Emmanuel Mudiay to China makes him even more of a case-study 0
- Four-star Class of 2016 guard Bruce Brown gave up football to focus on basketball 0
- Seven (more) Takeaways from Nike’s Peach Jam 0
- Seven Takeaways from Nike’s Peach Jam 1
- Chris Walker looks like he’s spent some time in the gym (PHOTO) (4)
- Indiana’s summer workouts look intense (VIDEO) (4)
- Mother of elite recruit Josh Jackson: ‘Josh hasn’t been recruited by anyone’ (4)
- NCAA gets rid of name-likeness release form for student-athletes (3)
- Mixtape for Ben Simmons, who proves he’s 2015′s No. 1 player (VIDEO) (3)