Trial date delayed for Mbakwe

The junior-college transfer is unlikely to play for the U this season.

Trial date delayed for Mbakwe

Michael Rietmulder

University of Minnesota menâÄôs basketball player Trevor Mbakwe saw another court date come and go without a resolution, all but ensuring that the junior-college transfer will not play this season. MondayâÄôs proceedings surrounding a felony aggravated battery charge resulted in another status report being set for March 8 in Miami-Dade County, Fla. No official trial date has been scheduled. Mbakwe has been suspended indefinitely since the beginning of the season pending the outcome of the case. The status report date would be one day after the GophersâÄô regular-season finale against Iowa, and it is now highly unlikely he would be activated for the Big Ten Tournament or beyond. Mbakwe faces the felony aggravated battery charge for allegedly assaulting a woman who lived in the same apartment complex he did, on April 29. The trial has been delayed several times because both prosecutors and defense have had difficulty obtaining depositions from out-of-town witnesses, according to Miami-Dade State AttorneyâÄôs Office spokeswoman Terry Chavez. âÄúItâÄôs been a rough road,âÄù Chavez said. âÄúItâÄôs not been your typical case [where] everybodyâÄôs local and we just bring them into the office.âÄù University Athletics Director Joel Maturi said last week that he doesnâÄôt expect Mbakwe to play this season. âÄúIf this issueâÄôs resolved, then itâÄôs a decision that Coach [Tubby] Smith will have to make, and my guess is he would probably want to redshirt him at this stage in the season,âÄù Maturi said. Smith declined to tip his hand after last FridayâÄôs practice as to what he planned to do with the 6-foot-8-inch, 240-pound forward. âÄúYou donâÄôt have to redshirt anybody âÄòtil the end of the year,âÄù Smith said. âÄúI donâÄôt have to announce anything to anybody.âÄù Maturi said that if redshirted, Mbakwe would have two years of eligibility remaining.