Andre Hollins out through at least until Indiana game, most likely
January 31, 2014 — 6:28pm
Andre Hollins is not expected to be back until the Gophers game vs. Indiana on Feb. 8, Minnesota coach Richard Pitino said on Friday afternoon.
The guard, who severely sprained his left ankle in the opening seconds of Minnesota's game vs. Wisconsin, hasn't played since, sitting out for Nebraska on Sunday. He will "definitely" not play on Saturday vs. Northwestern, Pitino said, and is doubtful for Wednesday at Purdue.
"Andre Hollins, barring some miracle, not playing," Pitino said. "So we'll move on without him."
Without Hollins the Gophers pressure is turned up on guards Daquein McNeil, a freshman, and Maverick Ahanmisi, a senior. But Pitino said on Friday that he hopes to play Ahanmisi as little as possible in the back-up point guard role once filled by Hollins.
"I don't think he's a point guard," Pitino said. "So I don't think I'm going to play him a whole lot there. It's not that he's a bad player, I think he's a good player, but I think he's more of a 2-guard. I think he's more comfortable in that role, and that's what we use him at more."
Pitino will play McNeil some at that spot, but DeAndre Mathieu will need to play as many minutes as possible. The 5-9 guard is coming off a nine-turnover performance at Nebraska, when he was double-teamed by Nebraska for almost the entire game.
Pitino doesn't expect Northwestern -- which doesn't pressure the ball at all, but is extremely efficient with its half-court defense -- to try to trap Mathieu like Nebraska did, but he's been putting the guard through such exercises in practice just in case, he said.
"He'll be fine," Malik Smith said of Mathieu. "He's been practicing really hard -- coach has been throwing double teams at him just like they did at Nebraska, and he's been handling that fine."
Marcus Fuller joined the Star Tribune in 2016 after 11 years covering Gophers sports – and just about every other team and league in town -- for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Before making the Twin Cities his home, Marcus spent two years in The Kansas City Star sports department. Marcus grew up in Hawaii and is a 2002 graduate of San Jose State. Follow Fuller on Twitter @Marcus_R_Fuller.
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