Trevor Mbakwe has all over the headlines for the wrong reasons in the last couple weeks, it’s true.
We’re not going to dismiss any of that – it’s not something Mbakwe has taken lightly either. But we all know what the cure for negative press and distractions is: winning. And the fact of the matter is, Mbakwe is being heralded – around the league and around the country -- as the piece to help the Gophers do just that.
Monday, Mbakwe was named Big Ten Network’s No. 4 player in the conference, calling him the best “glass-cleaning in the Big Ten” and “darn near impossible to stop” in the paint.
But that’s not the only high praise Mbakwe has received lately, with the Gophers looking ahead to a promising season.
Some other recent hype for the big man:
- CBS Sports’ listed its preseason Top 100 players in college basketball and Mbakwe landed at No. 15 nationally. (Rodney Williams also made the list, at No. 93.)
- Their Jeff Goodman picked Minnesota at No. 22 in his preseason top 25, with the pick hinging largely on the return of a healthy Mbakwe.
- Sports Illustrated contributor Rob Dauster named Mbakwe as one of 18 players coming off injuries to watch.
More from Star Tribune
More From Gold in the Barn
Gophers basketball coach Richard Pitino knows his starting lineup if his team had to play a game right now. There are two new starters and one thing that may surprise fans.
Gophers junior center Reggie Lynch is recovering from knee surgery, but he could return to full contact in a week.
Failing to recognize top returning players from an 8-23 Minnesota team might not be all that surprising -- until you take a closer look.
Arkansas, a Gophers opponent this year at Williams Arena, has the SEC preseason player of the year with senior center Moses Kingsley
Junior center Reggie Lynch is progressing after knee surgery last month, but the Gophers basketball team is not going to rush him into a major role.