Position Preview: Power Forward

Another position where there will be a number of new faces will be at power forward. The Gophers lacked a true power forward last season which hurt them many times during their Big Ten schedule. The additions of Trevor Mbakwe and Mo Walker should help fill a gaping hole for the Gophers.

Starter:
Although Trevor Mbakwe might not be the starter, he will certainly get plenty of minutes due to the fact that he is the best true power forward on the roster. Ralph Sampson III and Colton Iverson both might start but both players are better at center than playing against smaller, athletic power forwards.

Mbakwe seems to be the answer as a promising power forward for the Maroon and Gold. As many fans know, Mbakwe transferred to Minnesota last season but had to sit out the entire year due to legal issues.

The 6-foot-8 junior seems ready to make the most of this season He is an absolute beast on the defensive end blocking shots and can dominate on the boards. Last season, the Gophers struggled to guard quick, athletic power forwards.

Mbakwe should have no problem in becoming a force on defense for Minnesota, limiting other power forwards. Not only can Mbakwe play great defense, he looks to be a hungry player on offense.

Mbakwe seems to have solid post moves and can finish when he gets near the hoop. Having a legitimate threat at power forward on both ends of the floor will be a huge advantage for Minnesota this season.

Key Reserve:
Another big man who will get some minutes this season is freshman Mo Walker. The 6-foot-10, 289-pounder from Ontario, Canada looks enormous on the floor. He is a big body who can bang down low in the post.

During his second preseason game against Winona State, Walker showed some nice post moves with a soft finish at the hoop. Walker seems to be a little slow in the transition offense but can dominate small defenders when he gets the ball in the half court.

If Walker can come off of the bench and put solid minutes in, the Gophers will be able to give a rest to players like Iverson and Sampson.

Having depth at power forward will undoubtedly go a long way in helping the Gophers win this year.


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