Trevor Mbakwe: Busy Summer, Solid Winter?

Minnesota Golden Gophers Men's College Basketball Trevor Mbakwe

Trevor Mbakwe: Busy Summer, Solid Winter?

Trevor Mbakwe didn't put down the basketball when his Minnesota Golden Gophers played their final game of the 2010-11 season.

The redshirt senior, who is one of five hometown players from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area on the current roster, was named to the Team USA roster for the World University Games. He was one of two Big Ten Conference players on the USA roster; the other was Michigan State's Draymond Green. The team's coach (Purdue's Matt Painter) also has a Big Ten connection.

In a game on Thursday, Aug. 18, Mbakwe scored 12 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked three shots in a 94-84 win over Israel. He finished with six points and 10 boards in a 76-74 loss to Lithuania that ended Team USA's run in the World University Games quarterfinals.

According to, the ESPN radio affiliate in Minneapolis, the rest of the roster included Tim Abromaitis (Notre Dame), Marcus Denmon (Missouri), Ashton Gibbs (Pittsburgh), JaMychal Green (Alabama), Scoop Jardine (Syracuse), John Jenkins (Vanderbilt), Orlando Johnson (UC Santa Barbara), Greg Mangano (Yale), Ray McCallum (Detroit Mercy) and Darius Miller (Kentucky).

It was valuable experience for the 6-foot-8 standout, who is expected to be the team's leader in rebounding when the 2011-12 campaign gets underway. Mbakwe led the Big Ten in rebounding with 10.5 boards per game and 327 for the season. It was the most rebounds by a Minnesota player since Jim Brewer with 331 (1970-71). Mbakwe's 13.9 points and 10.5 boards marked the first double-double since Kris Humphries in 2003-04 (22.1 points, 10 rebounds).

Mbakwe's rebounding prowess may help the Golden Gophers win a few games on the court. The reality is Minnesota is coming off a disappointing finish to the 2010-11 season, as Minnesota dropped its final six games to finish 17-14 overall. The Gophers were 17-8 on Feb. 13 following a 62-45 win over Iowa, but they fell to Penn State and Northwestern twice and to Michigan State and Michigan once.


Read the in-depth preview for Minnesota basketball