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March 8, 2011

Mbakwe is 2nd Team All-Big Ten

Minnesota junior forward Trevor Mbakwe was named Second Team All-Big Ten by Big Ten coaches and the media and senior guard Blake Hoffarber was named All-Big Ten Honorable Mention by the media as the Big Ten Conference released the 2010-11 All-Big Ten men's basketball teams.

Mbakwe is the first Gopher player to be named to the second team since the 2004-05 season when Vincent Grier was named to the second team by the media and first team by the coaches.

Also, Hoffarber was recognized by the conference as Minnesota's Sportsmanship honoree.

Mbakwe led the Big Ten Conference in rebounding at 10.5 rpg to go along with 13.7 ppg, making him the first Gopher player since Kris Humphries (2003-04) to average a double-double and lead the league in rebounding.

He has put together 18 double-double games this season, tops in the Big Ten and fifth on the Gophers' single-season record list. Mychal Thompson sits atop that list with 21 double-double games during the 1975-76 season.

Mbakwe's 316 rebounds to date are the fifth most in a single-season at Minnesota and the most since Jim Brewer pulled down 331 boards during the 1970-71 season.

Hoffarber, who was recently named an Academic All-American, is tied with Mbakwe for the team lead in scoring and leads the team in assists and minutes played with career-high numbers of 13.7 ppg, 4.1 apg and 34.9 mpg.

One of the most accurate shooters in Gopher history, Hoffarber is the Gophers' leader with 276 career three-pointers and currently sits in fourth place on the Gophers' three-point percentage list at .408 (276-675). Hoffarber, who has played in a Gopher record 131 career games, is currently 18th on the Gophers' career scoring list with 1,254 points.

Purdue forward JaJuan Johnson was named the conference's player of the year by Big Ten coaches as well as by the media. Joining Johnson on the All-Big Ten first-team (coaches) were Ohio State's Jared Sullinger, Wisconsin's Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor and Johnson's Boilermaker teammate E'Twaun Moore. The media's list swapped Penn State's Talor Battle for Leuer.

Johnson was also named the Defensive Player of the Year while Sullinger was chosen as the league's top freshman.

Matt Painter of Purdue was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year by his peers and the media. It was the second consecutive season Painter was awarded the honor by the coaches.

The ninth-seeded Gophers take on Northwestern, the eighth seed, in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday, March 10 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind. The game, which will be aired nationally on ESPN2, is slated for a 1:30 a.m. CT tip with the winner advancing to play the top seeded Ohio State Buckeyes on Friday, March 11. That game is scheduled to tip at approximately 11:00 a.m.

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