The U of M confirmed this morning what multiple outlets -- including the Star Tribune -- learned last night: Fifth-year senior men's basketball player Trevor Mbakwe has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA.


While it remains to be seen whether Mbakwe will come back or attempt to turn pro, he now at least has the option. Mbakwe tweeted this morning:

I don't know what will happens yet but I'm very blessed to be in this position now. Gophernation is the best and I'm just speechless right now lol.

The 6-8 forward tore his ACL in late November and had surgery about a month later. He would seemingly be on track to be healthy by the start of official practices in mid-October; getting ready for the NBA draft in June is a much tougher proposition.

For now, we will let your minds wander: How good might the Gophers be next year if Mbakwe returns, junior Rodney Williams returns and keeps playing as he has lately and some of the the team's young players -- most notably Andre Hollins -- keep progressing?

Are we talking about a team that could simply be top-half of the Big Ten, or are you thinking bigger?

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