Mbakwe Presents Questions for NBA Teams

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Mbakwe Presents Questions for NBA Teams
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

MINNEAPOLIS – They're folded up into the pockets of a maroon and gold letter jacket, those long, sinewy arms. It's the day before Minnesota's first and only Big Ten tournament game, a 51-49 loss to Illinois, and Trevor Mbakwe has just finished one of his last practices as a Gopher. He keeps his arms jammed in those pockets the whole time, as questions of emotion are woven together with those of rebounding and responsibility, and you can't help but wonder how he takes every one in fast-talking stride. You can't help but wonder, that is, until you remember: Mbakwe has done this so many times before, and six years' worth of media sessions are nothing compared to the character defenses and knee surgery, the rehab and accusations and the hard-nosed finagling that have all combined to put him right where he is now, finishing his fourth and final season at the University of Minnesota...

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