Introduction is merely the beginning for U freshman Joe Coleman
October 20, 2011 — 9:40am
For some, Friday’s dunk contest was a first look at dynamic freshman Joe Coleman. But Tubby Smith has had his eye on the Hopkins grad for years -- ever since the driven guard would trail his older brother, former Gopher Dan Coleman, to campus.
“He would come in with his brother at six in the morning and they’d be working out,” Tubby said to me after Coleman had signed. “It was amazing to see his work ethic. Right away, I just offered. I said, 'Hey, I want to coach you.’”
Media Day was another reminder that Coleman hasn’t gotten his Minnesota jersey by accident. Tubby called Coleman a guy “you can’t work hard enough.”
Referring to Coleman and fellow freshman Andre Hollins, Tubby said “This summer, I can’t say enough about how committed and how dedicated those two guys are. They never missed anything. They never missed a class, a meeting, a workout.”
Coleman said he’s been doing “a lot more work off the court” than he’s used to from high school. “You just have to learn time management, you need to know when to turn the TV off, go to bed, get your rest and just adjust to all that and be able to do a good job at it,” he said.
For those who haven’t yet seen Coleman win the dunk contest in last week’s “All-Star Friday Night,” Big Ten Network has the full video here.
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.
Freshman guard Isaiah Washington will make his local debut on a team with All-Big Ten forward Jordan Murphy. Nate Mason and Amir Coffey are teammates and Apple Valley star Tre Jones has two Minnesota teammates.