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- As expected the news out of Minnesota on the right knee of Trevor Mbakwe was not good. The senior forward, who appeared poised to have an excellent season, is out for year with right ACL tear (here is a Twitpic from Mbakwe late last night). Mbakwe’s injury means that the Gophers will have to search to find a replacement (likely by committee) and will also probably struggle to stay out of the Big Ten cellar. According to reports, the school is seeking a sixth year of eligibility for Mbakwe, who missed one season due to another knee injury and another season after transferring from Miami after being charged with sexual assault. Prior to the injury, Mbakwe was a late first or early second round pick. Now, if he does not get an extra year of eligibility, he may not even get drafted.
- Last night Billy Donovan picked up his 400th career win as Florida beat Stetson, 96-70. Perhaps, the occasion helped the Gators focus as they played well despite the game being an obvious trap game with a showdown against Syracuse looming on Friday. While the win is a nice milestone it is noteworthy for two other things: most Gator fans probably were not paying attention as they were focusing their attention on their suddenly healthy former football coach and the victory occurred at the home of the Orlando Magic, who nearly took Donovan away from college basketball a little over four years ago.
- Don’t expect to see more of UCLA malcontent Reeves Nelson much in the next few games after Ben Howland stated that Nelson will not be starting for the Bruins “any time soon.” Howland kept his word last and Nelson continued to do his part to keep himself out of the line-up as he got in early foul trouble to limit his minutes. While we applaud Howland for his current stance on Nelson we get a funny feeling that if UCLA continues to struggle Howland will be more forgiving of his mercurial forward.
- Seth Davis checks in after his work-related trip to the Bahamas (rough life, right?) where he got to watch Connecticut and Ryan Boatright. After spending some time watching the Huskies and seeing the change that Boatright’s insertion brought about Davis came away impressed with Boatright even if he came away less than impressed with other aspects of the Huskies right now. He also offers up his opinions on all things college basketball in his traditional Larry King-like Hoop Thoughts, which are always a good read.
- Duke picked up a commitment from class of 2013 shooting guard Matt Jones, a player that many suspected was a Duke lean for quite a while. Jones should give the Blue Devils yet another long-range threat if he remains committed to Duke (at least another year until he can sign). While Duke fans are probably happy to pick up Jones, they are probably more interested in his more highly regarded AAU teammate Julius Randle. Meanwhile, the people over at KSR appear to be handling the decision by Jones well although one reader was upset with Jones for being a “trader.”