Trevor Mbakwe apologizes for arrest, will not start Thursday (Video)
January 12, 2011 — 1:35pm
During his team's pregame press conference Wednesday, Trevor Mbakwe apologized for being a distraction as the Gophers prepare to face eighth-ranked Purdue Thursday at Williams Arena.
Gophers coach Tubby Smith said Mbakwe, the team's top scorer and rebounder, will not start against the Boilermakers, even though he opted against suspending him following his Monday arrest for allegedly violating a harassment restraining order requested by a former girlfriend two years ago.
Smith said Mbakwe will have to deal with "internal" punishments but didn't go into detail. Colton Iverson will replace him in the starting lineup, the fourth-year coach said Wednesday.
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. Follow Rayno on Twitter @AmeliaRayno.
Given the rare break, coach Richard Pitino gave his team two days off immediately after and then rolled out what he dubbed a "fun" practice on Sunday before getting down to business on Monday and Tuesday.