This year’s Gophers team has had high expectations all along, but after Trevor Mbakwe’s highly publicized tweet vowing to pay back his scholarship if the Gophers missed the tournament, the ante just got upped, Rodney Williams joked.
“I definitely like confidence in him. But now we definitely don’t have a choice, we’ve got to go make some noise, because that’s going to be tough to go pay back,” Williams said.
To make that clear: tough for Mbakwe to pay back. Asked whether the team would pool their money together in that circumstance, Williams was quick with the wit to make a distinction.
“We didn’t tweet that, he did,” he deadpanned. “So if something went wrong, it’s all on Trevor.”
The tweets, which disappeared from Mbakwe’s feed on Monday, were taken down on his own accord, the forward said, citing the (partly negative) media reaction.
“It wasn’t supposed to be anything negative, it was just me showing faith in this team,” he said. I know how hard they’ve worked and I believe we want to go farther than the NCAA tournament. But it’s just something I said and honestly I didn’t expect it to get the reaction that it did.
“I apologize if it was a distraction to my teammates or anybody but that’s just my confidence for the team this year.”