• One reason Gophers basketball coach Tubby Smith wasn't tougher on Trevor Mbakwe following his personal and legal problems was that Mbakwe could have turned pro and been drafted but he chose to come back for a sixth year and Smith felt obligated to him. As far as the recent arrest for drunken driving of his son and assistant coach, Saul, Tubby let athletic director Norwood Teague handle that.

• The Gophers football team will get a boost to ticket sales next year, playing Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin at TCF Bank Stadium.

• There are only nine seniors playing for the Gophers football team -- linebackers Mike Rallis and Keanon Cooper, defensive end D.L. Wilhite, defensive backs Michael Carter and Troy Stoudermire, tight end John Rabe, quarterback MarQueis Gray, kicker Jordan Wettstein and wide receiver Brandon Green. Gray and Green have missed significant time because of injuries.

• Eric Decker, who is having a great season playing alongside Peyton Manning in Denver, is ranked in the top 10 in the AFC in a number of receiving categories: ninth in yards (441), tied for eighth in receptions (34) and tied for 10th in receiving touchdowns (three).

• There is great news out of the Arizona Fall League for Twins fans. Kyle Gibson, a 2009 first-round draft choice who pitched only 281/3 innings in the minors this year coming off Tommy John surgery in November of 2011, is 3-0 with a 0.69 ERA in 13 innings over three starts for the Peoria Javelinas. He leads the league in strikeouts (19) and has walked only two batters.

• Another good sign for the Twins: Outfield prospect Nate Roberts is hitting .526 for Peoria with a .667 on-base percentage through seven games. Roberts hit .299 in 76 games with the Class A Beloit Snappers this year.