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Mbakwe & Sampson glad to be Gophers

Trevor Mbakwe and Ralph Sampson III nearly entered the NBA Draft, but decided against it before it was too late. Now the seniors are glad they decided to return. Not only do they want to finish their careers, but the NBA lockout would have them sitting at home anyway.
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Trevor Mbakwe and Ralph Sampson III nearly entered the NBA Draft, but decided against it before it was too late. Now the seniors are glad they decided to return. Not only do they want to finish their careers, but the NBA lockout would have them sitting at home anyway.

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Gophers basketball will go as far as "big three" take them

Seniors Trevor Mbakwe, Ralph Sampson III and junior Rodney Williams, are the core of the 2011-2012 squad. The triumvirate open the season at Williams Arena against Bucknell on Nov 11.

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The Gophers could be without starting big man Ralph Sampson III against Northwestern in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday. Sampson injured his knee two days ago and hasn't practice since.

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Trevor Mbakwe's story is long and frustrating. With the off-the-court issues mostly out of the way, the 6'10'' forward is ready to lead Minnesota to the top of the Big Ten. The Gophers have the respect of coaches in the conference, now it's all about putting it all together on the court.

Sampson starting for Gophers tonight

Ralph Sampson III is back in the starting lineup tonight as the Gophers host Appalachian State in non-conference play at Williams Arena. Sampson missed the previous two games because of a turned ankle. Andre Hollins is also starting despite turning an ankle in Saturday's win over USC.

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University of Minnesota basketball star Trevor Mbakwe has been named to the preseason watch list for the John R. Wooden award, given to the best player in the country. Mbakwe blossomed this summer during the World University Games in China.

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Gophers forward Trevor Mbakwe was scheduled to appear in court Monday for violating a restraining order last January. The appearance was postponed, and might not happen until April. Either way, it sounds like the case is fizzling out.

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