It’s been expected for a while now, but Trevor Mbakwe announced Monday afternoon that he will use his sixth year of eligibility and return to the Minnesota basketball program for the 2012-13 season.
“I have decided to remain at the University of Minnesota and am looking forward to the upcoming season,” Mbakwe said in a school release. “I think it is beneficial for many reasons. It gives me the opportunity to play another year of college basketball and hopefully contribute to a team that showed it can be dangerous.
“It also provides me with the opportunity to leave the university with a Master’s degree. That means a ton to me. Not many athletes have that chance to get multiple degrees during their stay and unfortunately it took an injury for me to have this opportunity, but I am going to take full advantage of it.”
Mbakwe tore his right ACL in November and was lost for the remainder of the season. He spent the season on the bench, only attending home games up until the Big Ten tournament, and then he followed the Gophers along the way to the NIT title game in New York.
Between the way Minnesota played in the NIT and the fact Mbakwe will be back for another season, Tubby Smith was a very happy coach Monday.
“We are excited that Trevor has made the decision to return and play a sixth season,” Smith said in a release. “He has obviously proven to be a dominant player in this league and I have no doubt that he will return to the form that made him that type of player. He will certainly be a welcomed addition to next year’s team.”