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.
This is Amelia Rayno's fifth season on the Gophers men's basketball beat. She learned college basketball in North Carolina (Go Tar Heels!), where fanhood is not an option. In 2010, she joined the Star Tribune after graduating from Boston's Emerson College, which sadly had no exciting D-I college hoops to latch onto. Amelia has also worked on the sports desk at the Boston Globe and interned at the Detroit News. Follow Rayno on Twitter @AmeliaRayno.