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.
Marcus Fuller joined the Star Tribune in 2016 after 11 years covering Gophers sports – and just about every other team and league in town -- for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Before making the Twin Cities his home, Marcus spent two years in The Kansas City Star sports department. Marcus grew up in Hawaii and is a 2002 graduate of San Jose State. Follow Fuller on Twitter @Marcus_R_Fuller.