Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Trevor Mbakwe's draft potential
By Joe Kaiser
Minnesota's sixth-year senior Trevor Mbakwe put together the type of performance against No. 1 Indiana last night that could significantly elevate his NBA draft stock.
Heading into the game, the undersized power forward (6-foot-8, 240-pounds) was barely on the NBA's radar. Our own Chad Ford listed him at No. 98 on the Big Board, and No. 24 at his position.
But against the Hoosiers, in a game Minnesota really had to have, Mbakwe came up huge with 21 points, 12 rebounds a block and a steal, and helped limit future NBA lottery pick Cody Zeller to 9 points on 2-for-9 shooting from the field.
"With NBA scouts in attendance, senior Trevor Mbakwe looked like a pro in the first half," writes ESPN's Myron Medcalf, who pointed out that Mbawke's 12-point opening half helped keep the Golden Gophers within striking distance.
Overall, Mbawke's minutes, points and rebounds are all down from where they were each of the past two seasons, but we have to believe his chances are growing of being a second-round pick this June.