“In Andre Hollins and Joe Coleman, we definitely feel that we helped ourselves,” said head coach Tubby Smith. “Both of these guys are young men that you know are going to give you everything they have, every day, on the court and in the classroom. They will be great representatives and ambassadors for Golden Gopher Basketball.”
Coleman, a 6-4, 194-pound guard from Hopkins, Minn., averaged 24.7 points a game last season as a junior and led the Royals to their second straight Class 4A State Championship. He scored in double figures in all 32 games for Hopkins including 30 points or more six times. The Royals finished the season with a 30-2 record.
“I am really excited to finally be a part of the Gopher family,” said Coleman. “I am happy that my hard work has paid off and that Coach Smith has given me the opportunity to play at home and with a great group of guys.”
Coleman is continuing a family legacy at Minnesota, as his uncle, Ben Coleman, and brother, Dan Coleman, both played for the Golden Gophers. Dan, who played his senior season for Tubby Smith, finished his career in 15th place on the career points list with 1,317.
Ranked as the 27th and 34th-best shooting guard in the country by ESPN and Rivals, respectively, Coleman was named to the 2010 Minnesota Associated Press All-State First Team a season ago as well as to the Minneapolis Star Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press All-State teams. Coleman chose the Gophers over Colorado State, Creighton, Iowa State, Santa Clara, Seton Hall and Siena.
“Joe Coleman is an athlete and is a guy who can play multiple positions,” said Smith. “He’s a slasher and a scorer and a guy that has an amazing worth ethic and is in the gym constantly. He’ll bring leadership to this team. I was so lucky and fortunate to coach his brother (Dan Coleman), so it gave us that insight into the Coleman family.”
Hollins, a 6-2, 190-pound guard from Memphis, Tenn., averaged 15.2 points as a junior for White Station High School, one of the strongest high school programs in Tennessee. He will begin his senior season with just under 2,000 career points.
“I am very thankful for the opportunity to play for a great program and coach,” said Hollins. “I want to thank all of my family, friends, coaches, and the Minnesota Basketball staff for their support. I am elated to be a Gopher.”
Ranked as the 26th, 30th and 40th-best shooting guard in the country by ESPN, Scout and Rivals, respectively, Hollins led the Spartans to a 28-9 record and to the Tennessee Class AAA State Championship game. He is a reigning TSWA Class AAA All-State selection as well as a member of the 2010 Tennessee Class AAA State Tournament team.
Hollins, who is a member of the National Honor Society and carries a grade point average of more than 4.0, chose the Gophers over Auburn, Harvard, Mississippi and Stanford. He plans to enroll in the prestigious Carlson School of Management at Minnesota.
“Andre Hollins is a very talented and athletic player. I think he fills that need that we have at the point guard position,” said Smith. “He is a big, physical guard that can defend multiple positions. One of the great things about Andre is that he has the mental IQ to run a team. He has speed, great hands, strength and love for the game.”
The Gophers open the regular season on Friday, Nov. 12 at 7:00 p.m. against Wofford College at Williams Arena and play Siena on Monday, Nov. 15 at 8:00 p.m., also at Williams Arena, before traveling to San Juan, Puerto Rico to take part in the Puerto-Rico Tip-Off Nov. 18-21.
Courtesy: U of M Communications