Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tubby Suspends Two Cagers

Minnesota Gopher basketball coach Tubby Smith suspended two players indefinitely Tuesday for undisclosed violations of team rules.

Senior guard Devron Bostick and freshman forward Royce White will be held out of games for the foreseeable future and Smith said he will decide when and if they will return. Couple these suspensions with the situation of junior college transfer Trevor Mbakwe, who is unable to participate in practices or games until resolution of his pending felony assault charges, and 1/5 of the basketball team is currently under suspension.

Bostick is a returnee from last year's squad. The juco transfer saw action in 31 games last season, averaging 11 minutes and 4.0 points per game. White is the cornerstone of a solid recruiting class (Rivals.com ranked it 24th in the nation), along with forward Rodney Williams and point guard Justin Cobbs. White has had a bit of a checkered past, kicked off his DeLaSalle high school basketball team last season for academic issues before transferring to Hopkins. Still, his talent was never questioned. Rivals had White ranked as the 19th-best prospect at last year's signing date.

For now, the Gophers will proceed without two supposed foundations of a team which went to the NCAA Tournament last season and lost only two seniors. The guess here is that both White and Bostick will return after the exhibitions. However, it is likely Mbakwe will have to sit out the entire season unless or until his situation is resolved.

The Gophers hold exhibition games this Thursday (UMD) and next Monday (MSU-Moorhead) to begin their season. The team is ranked #18 in the ESPN poll and #25 in the USA Today preseason rankings.

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