By Andre Hollins' 11th attempt from three-point range on Wednesday night, the Gophers flailing from the outside and in general against Illinois, Gophers coach Richard Pitino was starting to see a trend.
While Minnesota's star guar has said he's close to 100 percent healed from a severe ankle sprain he sustained in late January, he still isn't the same player he was before the injury.
"I think Andre, because of his ankle, has lost a little confidence offensively that he can go by people," Pitino said. "He needs to get that back a little bit, stop settling for so many jump shots."
Hollins went 3-for-11 from three-point range on Wednesday -- contributing to the Gophers' one-dimensional offense overall (Minnesota shot 25 three-pointers, but made just four of them). Hollins told Pitino he felt confident about the threes he shot, but admitted on Friday that he probably is still more hesitant than he would like to be at this point.
"It's difficult because you do things and you don't consciously do them," he said. "I haven't really gone off my left leg, like jumping, just single leg. And I don't think about that. It might not go in there because unconsciously [body is fearing] it might happen again. I'm not trying to say that I'm thinking about it like that but I just might be doing that in the back of my mind. That's one of the toughest things to try to come back from an injury and trust it like you did before."
It's not a matter of logistics, he added, noting that he got to the rim easily in practice yesterday.
"It's just a mindset," he said. "You've just got to fight through it. Push it hard in practice, go hard every day, and just get that trust back."
Hollins' role becomes even more important with opponents clueing in on point guard DeAndre Mathieu's struggles off ball screens. Against Illinois, Mathieu went 1-for-5 from the field and had three turnovers, unable to respond to the Illini defense locking down on him.
That is probably not the last the Gophers will see of that strategy.
"I need to go make myself available a little more, take the pressure off of him," Hollins said. "As the season progresses, These Big Ten coaches, they're great at scouting. They know that we're a pick and roll offense so their focus is going to be stop DeAndre and myself coming off the pick and roll."