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May 8, 2007Marquette men's basketball commit Trevor Mbakwe, a power forward from Mendota Heights (Minn.) Sibley High School who stands 6-foot-7 and weighs 220 pounds, will join the Golden Eagles squad next season. MarquetteWatch.com recently caught up with him.
A while ago, Mbakwe played against fellow MU recruit Scott Christopherson, whom he found to be an impressive opponent.
"It was great; he's a great player," said Mbakwe. "I played against him at nationals a couple years back, and I had an opportunity to see him play in Milwaukee. I know he's a great player and a hard worker, and I'm looking forward to playing with him and living with him and becoming better friends."
Mbakwe had a difficult last couple of years with a transfer controversy during high school that angered some fans.
"Yeah, I mean, there was some stuff behind it, and there was some criticism, and people don't understand, but I'm just happy and enjoying my senior year. We're undefeated so far, and it's my goal just to win a state championship," he said.
One aspect of his game that he is trying to improve before next year is his shooting.
"My mid-range [jump shot], just making sure that's 100%. I took a couple jump shots, and I made a couple, just my face-up game," he said. "And beating slower guys off the dribble, that's something I'm working on with the coaching staff. That's something they want me working on this season, so I'm trying to do more of it."
Mbakwe is also working on the more subtle aspects of the game, like trying to stay focused against inferior opponents.
One way he's trying to do that is by "treat[ing] every game like it's the same. It's hard being the best player sometimes, every game. Defenses are more focused on you, and you've got to fight through it, but that's one of the prices you pay for being the best player."
He also commented on the future he may have after college basketball, possibly the NBA or a league overseas.
"That's why I try to play my hardest, so they know I'm out there," said Imbakwe. "Every game is closer to the last game ever in my career, so I just try to play hard, and I just look forward to next year," he added.
Still, he is very excited to get to Milwaukee and Marquette.
"It's fun. Like Scott [Christopherson] said, running fast breaks, three-quarter break, pull-up short - it's like, wow, I don't think I've played with someone of this caliber in a long time," he said. "But it's fun looking, watching him play, and thinking, Wow, this is what next year is going to be like. I'm going to play with the guys, Dominic [James] and all them, and we're going to have a really good team," he said.
Mbakwe believes he has a national championship forecast for the future at Marquette.
"Yeah, look at them [MU] now - they're one of the hottest teams in the nation right now. Just hopefully Dominic comes back, and we'll have a real good team next year," he finished.