The season hasn’t even started yet and already the Gophers are making national headlines for off-the-court issues.

  • Of course, it wouldn’t be fall unless we had our annual fix of Trevor Mbakwe shenanigans, which surfaced last week as Trevor’s July DUI arrest became a serious case for jail time. As it turned out, the judge showed the big guy a little mercy and let him have yet another chance to continue toward his NBA dreams. Of course, it was all much more complicated and interesting than that, but in short, Mbakwe basically violated his parole in Florida stemming from passt assault charges and had to fly down to Zombieland and answer for his transgressions. The judge could have very well put him in jail for somewhere around 30 months but, understanding that the Gophers have obviously been through way too much over the past four years, decided that extra parole, community service and enrollment in an AA program served the public interest better. Crisis. Averted. (Kudos to the Strib’s Amelia Rayno, who covered the ruling like a blanket on Friday)
  • And if one DUI arrest wasn’t enough, it came to light today that assistant coach and son of Tubby, Saul Smith, was pulled over on Interstate 394 late Saturday night for driving under the influence. The story is still developing somewhat but a U of M press release indicated that he has been placed on administrative leave indefinitely. Yay for role models!
  • In a bit of good news, the Gophers locked down their second 2013 commitment, signing Alex Foster from DeLaSalle in Chicago. Foster, who should end up playing either power forward or small forward, is the second signing for Tubby’s 2013 class, and will join his high school teammate, Alvin Ellis, in maroon and gold.
  • The first coaches’ poll of the year was released and the Big Ten is well represented with three teams in the top five. Indiana clocked in at #1 overall, Ohio State at #4 and Michigan at #5. Michigan State (#14) and Wisconsin (#21) were also included in the top 25. The Gophers were not without mention, and received nine votes. Certainly something to build on as the non-conference season opens up.

Wishful thinking, of course, but here’s to hoping we stay drama free from here on out!