MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota coach Tubby Smith says returning star forward Trevor Mbakwe is “lucky to be on the team” following a guilty plea for driving while intoxicated last month.
Mbakwe was arrested on July 1 and was sentenced to one year of probation and community service on Sept. 10. He missed almost all of last season with a knee injury and his return was expected to boost the Golden Gophers into contention in the Big Ten.
But Smith says Mbakwe was suspended from team activities after his arrest and “has got a lot to do to prove he’s going to be able to contribute.”
Smith says Mbakwe will start the season coming off the bench. He says he considered dismissing Mbakwe from the team before deciding to give him one more chance.