Trevor Mbakwe makes a bold wager

November, 5, 2012
11/05/12
8:50
AM ET
Minnesota forward Trevor Mbakwe has not had the best offseason. In July, he was arrested for driving while intoxicated in Minnetonka, Minn., a violation of the probation he was serving for his plea in a 2009 felony assault case. He could have gone to jail, but luckily for him, a judge in Florida agreed to merely extend the length of his probation, while delivering a stern warning on the limited number of chances Mbakwe would receive going forward.

Given all this, you'd assume Mbakwe would want to keep his head down and focus entirely on having a good final season on the court. No funny stuff. Instead, this weekend he took to Twitter, laying out a rather bold wager on his team's ability to make it to the NCAA tournament this season:


There is part of me that loves this, and I think plenty of Minnesota fans would probably agree. The guy's talking about how much he loves his teammates, how they have supported him through last year's difficult ACL injury and the uncertainty over his status for a sixth season and the offseason's mistakes and media attention, and how much he thinks of the talent on his team. I have no issue with any of these things. They're essentially admirable.

That said ... as Jeff Borzello noted this weekend, Mbakwe basically just bet a considerable amount of money (upwards of $30,000 for non-resident students) on his own team. He also just brought a lot of attention to himself and even his teammates, attention that one typically does not pursue in the wake of offseason like his.

For the record, I think he's right. And I think in some sense Mbakwe deserves to be lauded for his rallying cry. That's a form of leadership. But he might have been better off keeping it within the locker room. Loud, exclamatory Twitter bets are never the best way to lower your profile.

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