Trevor Mbakwe has been granted a waiver by the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility, but the question that we are now waiting on is whether or not Mbakwe will actually use it. Mbakwe missed most of the season after tearing his ACL back in November.
There are two issues at play here. For starters, Mbakwe has a son, and the money that he could make playing professional basketball — whether it is in the NBA or somewhere overseas — would certainly help. Mbakwe would also turn 24 midway through next season, and while coming back for another year would help prove to NBA scouts that he is healthy and fully back from the torn ACL, the good it would do may not be enough to get him into the first round, which is guaranteed contract territory.
Minnesota doesn’t actually have a scholarship available for Mbakwe. One could open up — there is talk that Rodney Williams could end up declaring for the NBA Draft, and there’s always a chance that Tubby Smith could run one of his players off — but the way it stands right now, Mbakwe would be making the decision to return to school for the opportunity to pay his way through his senior year.
“It’s going to be a tough decision,” Mbakwe said Friday. “I want to play … with all my teammates. I missed them, and I’m not happy with the way this last year went.”