Tubby Smith and Minnesota: The Golden Gophers appear to be on the rise – they reached the NCAA tournament last year for the first time since 2005 – and Tubby Smith is bringing in high-profile recruits to the program. Problem: They keep getting in trouble. JUCO transfer Trevor Mbakwe, who is supposedly a force, won’t play until his December court case (assault) is complete. Royce White, a freshman who was Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball last year, was arrested Oct. 13 for shoplifting and fifth-degree assault at Macy’s in the Mall of America. Did a 6-foot-8 guy think he could steal $100 worth of merch and get away with it? Assuming these two guys are playing by Jan. 1, the Gophers – who return all their best talent from last year – should still be looking at about 24-25 regular season wins (the out-of-conference schedule is a joke) and another NCAA berth. [Star Tribune]
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