Mbakwe trial delayed

The basketball player has been suspended pending the trial’s outcome.

Michael Rietmulder

Another delay in the trial of Gophers menâÄôs basketball player Trevor Mbakwe came at a report hearing Monday. Another report hearing in the felony assault trial was scheduled for April 8. The last five hearings have failed to produce a firm trial date, but Miami-Dade State AttorneyâÄôs Office spokeswoman Terry Chavez said that barring a new development in the case, a trial date will likely be set at the April 8 hearing. âÄúBasically, we need to set the case for a sure trial date,âÄù Chavez said. âÄúWe canâÄôt keep resetting it.âÄù The trial has been mired in the difficulty of obtaining depositions from out-of-town witnesses, but Chavez said Monday that all depositions have now been taken. Mbakwe is accused of assaulting a woman last April in Miami-Dade County, Fla., where he was playing for Miami Dade College. Mbakwe has been suspended all season, pending the outcome of the case. MbakweâÄôs case has been just one of the seasonâÄôs off-court distractions, which include freshman Royce WhiteâÄôs highly publicized legal battles and subsequent departure from the team. The Gophers also lost junior point guard Al Nolen to academic ineligibility. Senior guard Devron Bostick said Saturday that the team has tried not to let off-court distractions interfere with its performance on the court. âÄúWe really would like to have them here, but we just try not to think about it,âÄù Bostick said. White and Mbakwe were considered key components of coach Tubby SmithâÄôs 2009 recruiting class, which was ranked No. 24 in the country by Rivals.com. Neither has played a minute for the Gophers this season. âÄúUnfortunately, we had two guys that never got on the court that were considered two of the best players in the country,âÄù Smith said.