Hartman: Saunders reports Mbakwe stood out

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 20, 2013 - 12:03 PM

The former Gophers forward played and tested well at an NBA draft combine, but his knees remain a concern.

hide

Trevor Mbakwe

Photo: Kyndell Harkness, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

According to new Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders, former Gophers forward Trevor Mbakwe performed well at last week’s NBA draft combine in Chicago, which is held for players who have a likelihood of getting selected. Saunders believes Mbakwe’s physical attributes are a big plus for his chances of getting drafted.

“I thought he played really well,” Saunders said. “He measured out; measurement-wise, he’s probably the most impressive player. When I say that, when you look at body fat, you look at his wingspan — he had about a plus-8, which means his wingspan is 8 inches more than his height, which is something a lot of people look at.

“The other thing is his hands. He had the biggest hands of anybody in the camp, when you look at both the length, from the heel of the hand to the top, and the width from the thumb to the pinkie finger. I thought he played really well in the camp. I thought he shot the ball well, showed he can knock down the 15-footers like he did against Indiana. So I thought he was pretty impressive.”

Asked to gauge where the 6-8, 240-pound Mbakwe might go in the June 27 NBA draft, Saunders said: “The thing about that camp is there’s not a lot of competing against each other. There’s a little bit, but not a whole lot. It’s mostly measurements, they do some drills, some shooting drills, they do a little bit of competing but not a whole lot.

“With him, a lot is going to depend on [workouts] and how his physical ends up coming out on his knees. For some people, that’s a huge red flag and can take a player that’s a first-round pick and put them in the second round or take a second-round pick and make them undraftable. Depending on where his knees come out in the physicals will really determine where he comes out in the draft.”

Mbakwe tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in November 2011 and missed the rest of that season before the NCAA granted him a sixth year of eligibility. He also had some knee problems earlier in his college career at Marquette.

He will have a chance to show what he can do in another NBA-sanctioned draft combine in New Jersey this Wednesday and Thursday, which Saunders will attend. Then on May 26-27, Mbakwe plans to be at another NBA-sanctioned combine in Minneapolis.

“We’ll have 24 players come into that, mostly some first-round picks [and] a lot of second-round-type picks,” Saunders said. “Then after that, we’ll wrap it up for us and start zeroing in on some of the guys we’re looking at for that first round.”

Carroll produces

Infielder Jamey Carroll doesn’t often start, but according to Twins General Manager Terry Ryan, Carroll produces when he gets an opportunity to play.

“You can put him at third, short, second, and he usually takes an at-bat where he’s going to put it in play for sure,” Ryan said. “He’s doing a nice job and he’s certainly a role model for all these younger guys around here because he plays the game and works at his craft.”

Ryan said there’s a reason a player such as Caroll is in his 12th year in the majors.

“He knows what he’s doing, he knows his limitations, it’s going to be a little bit of a battle every time he comes to the plate,” Ryan said. “We all know he’s not going to drive a ball over the fence hardly ever, but he takes an at-bat where more often than not, he can square a ball up and he can put it in play and he runs plenty good, too.”

Carroll has appeared in 18 games this season and is hitting .304.

Jennings stands out

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier was asked his impression of new wide receiver Greg Jennings in workouts at Winter Park.

“His experience jumps out at you for sure,” Frazier said of the longtime Packers star. “Knowing where we are at the receiving position, having a guy of that caliber, a Pro Bowl player, a great player in our league for many years — his leadership, his experience, his big-play ability, it’s still there. He was banged up a bit the last couple of years but he is healthy now. We are looking forward for him having a great season in Minnesota.”

The Vikings will be young at receiver, with second-year player Jarius Wright and rookie Cordarrelle Patterson, so Jennings will surely play a big role in their development.

Jottings

• Former Twin David Ortiz had one great three-game series at the plate for the Red Sox, hitting .615 [8-for-13] with seven RBI and two home runs. Going into Sunday’s game, Ortiz was hitting .332 with 17 doubles, 15 home runs and 32 runs scored against the Twins in his career.

• For the first time in three years, Vikings season tickets increased by only 3.5 percent per game depending on their location. That meant an increase of anywhere up to but not exceeding $5. This is the first price increase since 2010 and only the second increase in the past five years. Fans can still buy season tickets for as low as $31 per game. The Vikings have sold 4,000 new season tickets.

• Bret Huebner, son of Vikings ticket manager Phil Huebner, is hitting .400 as a starting sophomore shortstop at Cretin-Derham Hall. On the same team is the son of former Viking Corbin Lacina, Nick, who is hitting .500 as a first baseman.

• Both the University of Minnesota and the Twins would like to play host to an outdoor NHL game. But right now the chances are not good for the near future, with the Yankees hosting two games during the 2013-14 season — the Rangers and Devils on Jan. 26 and the Rangers and Islanders on Jan. 29. Outdoor games also are scheduled in 2014 for the Ducks and Kings at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 25, the Penguins and Blackhawks at Soldier Field in Chicago on March 1 and the Senators and Canucks at BC Place in Vancouver on March 2.

• Former Wild defenseman Brent Burns is having a nice postseason for the San Jose Sharks, who trail the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 in the Western Conference semifinals. Burns, now playing forward, has one goal and two assists through seven playoff games while taking 22 shots and averaging 17 minutes, 10 seconds of ice time per game.

• Former Hopkins and Northern Iowa standout Terrell Sinkfield, who ran a tremendous 40-yard-dash time at University of Minnesota pro day, signed with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent and took part in their rookie minicamps.

• Former Twins third baseman Danny Valencia was called up by the Orioles on Sunday and went 1-for-3 at the plate with a double. Valencia had been hitting .306 with 11 home runs and 35 RBI in 40 games at Class AAA Norfolk.

 

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 12/18/14 7:25 PM
Jacksonville
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Atlanta 127 FINAL
Cleveland 98
Phoenix 111 FINAL
Charlotte 106
Dallas 117 FINAL
Detroit 106
Utah 105 FINAL
Miami 87
Orlando 92 FINAL
Boston 109
Brooklyn 89 FINAL
Toronto 105
Memphis 117 FINAL
San Antonio 116
Milwaukee 97 FINAL
Portland 104
Houston 111 1st OT 0:17
Denver 108
Indiana 100 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Ottawa 2 FINAL
New Jersey 0
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 2
Dallas 2 FINAL
Vancouver 0
Langston 65 FINAL
North Texas 78
Delaware State 72 FINAL
St Francis-NY 64
James Madison 72 FINAL
Ball State 52
SIU Edwardsville 65 FINAL
Campbell 70
St Francis-PA 67 FINAL
Duquesne 52
North Florida 77 FINAL
Florida State 93
Catawba 69 FINAL
George Mason 99
Ferrum 48 FINAL
High Point 106
Hampton 55 FINAL
Illinois 73
Gardner-Webb 65 FINAL
Jacksonville 68
Longwood 60 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 71
Arkansas State 69 FINAL
Miss State 55
Tennessee 72 FINAL
NC State 83
NC A&T 55 FINAL
Ohio State 97
Manhattan 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 65
Robert Morris 57 FINAL
Toledo 83
Char Southern 58 FINAL
Wofford 64
Kennesaw St 90 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
Barber-Scotia 52 FINAL
NC Central 108
Detroit 70 FINAL
UCF 75
Liberty 70 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 73
TX A&M-CC 73 FINAL
Denver 83
Ark-Pine Bluff 61 FINAL
Houston 56
UT Martin 54 FINAL
Illinois State 64
Milligan 76 FINAL
Louisiana 115
Abilene Christian 44 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 83
USC Upstate 73 FINAL
Memphis 83
Alcorn State 56 FINAL
Murray State 94
Central Mich 80 FINAL
Northwestern 67
Georgia State 54 FINAL
Old Dominion 58
TX-Pan American 69 FINAL
Saint Louis 75
Ill-Chicago 46 FINAL
SMU 67
Texas State 60 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 66
SC State 39 FINAL
Texas Tech 101
Missouri State 70 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Chicago State 60 FINAL
Western Ky 75
Morehead State 50 FINAL
Green Bay 66
Northern Colorado 82 FINAL
Nebraska Omaha 92
Winthrop 62 FINAL
Auburn 80
New Mexico St 55 FINAL
Baylor 66
San Diego St 62 FINAL
Cincinnati 71
Eastern Mich 46 FINAL
Michigan State 66
Loyola Marymount 58 FINAL
Stanford 67
Incarnate Word 82 FINAL
Grand Canyon 80
Northeastern 58 FINAL
Cal Poly 60
Central Arkansas 55 FINAL
New Mexico 76
Howard 45 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Portland 73 FINAL
UNLV 75
CS-Northridge 56 FINAL
Oregon 79
Grambling St 38 FINAL
Washington 86
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Western Carolina 79 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 66
(21) Miss State 66 FINAL
Louisiana 51
(25) DePaul 109 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 84
Liberty 64 FINAL
NC State 67
Elon 77 FINAL
Campbell 51
Akron 73 FINAL
UCF 64
Richmond 77 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 67
Montana 70 FINAL
Seattle 64
(7) Stanford 46 FINAL
Chattanooga 54
Florida A&M 69 FINAL
Southern U 80
Oklahoma 72 FINAL
(13) Duke 92
Savannah State 56 FINAL
Auburn 62
Northern Colorado 43 FINAL
South Florida 84
Youngstown St 73 FINAL
Robert Morris 65
Siena 75 FINAL
Sacred Heart 65
Vermont 63 FINAL
St Francis-NY 61
(1) South Carolina 69 FINAL
Hampton 49
Fla Gulf Coast 91 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 46
Texas Southern 92 FINAL
Houston Baptist 80
Northwestern 88 FINAL
UNLV 84
NC A&T 70 FINAL
Appalachian St 72
NC Central 52 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 67
Drexel 50 FINAL
Quinnipiac 74
Cincinnati 52 FINAL
Northern Ky 66
Alabama State 53 FINAL
Georgia Tech 77
Morehead St 69 FINAL
USC Upstate 75
Arkansas State 59 FINAL
Kent State 44
American Univ 60 FINAL
Manhattan 52
UNC Greensboro 60 FINAL
St Bonaventure 78
Arkansas-Monticello 56 FINAL
Northwestern St 61
Prairie View 70 FINAL
Sam Houston St 51
McNeese State 59 FINAL
(3) Texas 76
Yale 90 FINAL
Wagner 65
Oakland 61 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 54
Eastern Kentucky 62 FINAL
Alabama A&M 56
SIU-Edwardsville 47 FINAL
Northern Ill 69
McMurry 25 FINAL
TX-Arlington 82
Portland 65 FINAL
Eastern Washington 72
North Texas 42 FINAL
San Francisco 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

<
Gophers Football Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How much do you like the Gophers going to the Citrus Bowl?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close