Mbakwe went on to tweet: “Some ppl say I’m cocky but that’s not the case I just know how hard my teammates have worked and I believe in them and our coach #easychoice”
In a prism, the sentiment is a good one: it shows Mbakwe's passion, his faith in the team and his dedication to a successful season. Fans love that stuff.
That said -- if Mbakwe is indeed serious about putting his money where his tweet is -- it’s not always the smartest thing to put such a large sum on the line, especially when there are certain factors that go into paying it back (not getting hurt, and getting drafted in the NBA) that aren’t in his control.
Along the same lines, considering the Gophers have been the focus of significant off-court buzz during the offseason, the added attention might not be welcomed by Minnesota.
With Mbakwe returning, Minnesota is considered on the cusp of the Top 25 heading into the season, and has the talent to compete in the Big Ten. Nonetheless there are plenty of questionmarks for the Gophers.
*My story on Mbakwe's return to games in today's Star Tribune and here.
This is Amelia Rayno's fifth 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.