This is Amelia Rayno's third season on the Gophers men's basketball beat. She learned college basketball in North Carolina (Go Tar Heels!), where fanhood is not an option. In 2010, she joined the Star Tribune after graduating from Boston's Emerson College, which sadly had no exciting D-I college hoops to latch onto. Amelia has also worked on the sports desk at the Boston Globe and interned at the Detroit News.

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Team, prosecutors send conflicting messages on Trevor Mbakwe

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under Gophers players Updated: December 10, 2009 - 4:22 PM

Andy Katz (ESPN.com) caught up with Tubby Smith at the 76 Classic in Anaheim, Calif., a few weeks ago. Smith told Katz that Trevor Mbakwe, sidelined indefinitely due to legal issues, might play soon because a felony battery charge against him could be dropped in the near future.

"Smith said Mbakwe could be back with the team any day because they anticipate his case could be dropped," Katz wrote in a Nov. 25 article.

But a source with the Miami district attorney's office said Thursday prosecutors will proceed with charges against Mbakwe and expect to establish a new trial date early next year.

"Absolutely NO TRUTH to the rumor(s) you are hearing," the source said. "[Prosecutors in the case] are proceeding with [the] deposition schedule of the defense witnesses in preparation for trial."

I reported last month that Mbakwe's lawyer, Gregory Samms, had trouble locating the alleged victim, who accused Mbakwe of assaulting her in April in Miami.

Smith's words and the defense attorney's challenges tracking down the accuser suggested that the Gophers might get Mbakwe back soon, assuming the charges are dropped.

But prosecutors in the case are moving ahead.

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