PARADISE ISLAND, BAHAMAS - Trevor Mbakwe and Rodney Williams got into early foul trouble Friday, and with the pair of big men on the bench for the final 9 minutes, 3 seconds of the first half, Andre Ingram had an important effort for the Gophers off the bench.
Ingram took three key charges and made some other big plays down low, finishing with six points and three rebounds in 15 minutes in the Gophers' 84-75 victory over No. 19 Memphis in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. The 6-7 senior from Minneapolis looks to be building on the improvement he was showing at the end of last season.
"He's a real hard worker," teammate Rodney Williams said of Ingram, in his second year with the Gophers after transferring from Butler (Kan.) Community College. "No matter what's going on, you know you can put him on the floor and he's going to work hard for you the whole time. He came in and got some key rebounds for us and two or three big charges for us that kind of brought the momentum down."
Tigers guard Joe Jackson, a former high school teammate of Andre Hollins in Memphis, had a day as forgettable as Hollins' was unforgettable.
The junior played only 7 minutes after struggling early and finished with two points, one rebound and two turnovers. Jackson struggled Thursday as well, scoring six points against Virginia Commonwealth.
"I would just say to keep his head up and start playing basketball like Joe Jackson," said Hollins, who scored 41 points Friday, when asked what he would say to Jackson if they talked. "Because we know he's a great player. Mr. [Basketball] before me. He has the scoring record at White Station [their high school]. And he taught me a lot. So I think some of my game today reflected on a lot of what he's taught me."
A bit of Gophers history bubbled to the surface Friday, with Jimmy Williams on the sideline as a Memphis assistant coach.
Williams sued the University of Minnesota and coach Tubby Smith, claiming he misrepresented his authority by offering Williams an assistant coaching job in 2007. After the offer was rescinded, a jury awarded Williams $1 million, but the Minnesota Supreme Court threw that award out in August.
After the game, Williams -- in his second year at Memphis -- walked to the locker room without shaking hands with Gophers coaches or players.
• The Gophers' 28-for-33 free-throw shooting included a 5-for-5 day by Rodney Williams, who came in shooting just 50 percent (10-for-20) on free throws this season.
• Memphis barely edged out the Gophers in rebounds -- 36-34 -- but that included a 19-11 edge on the offensive glass. The Gophers struggled to box out and gave the Tigers 17 points off second chances.
• Austin Hollins -- the "other" Hollins from Memphis on Friday as many marveled at Andre Hollins' performance -- finished with only seven points but also had six steals. Three came in the final four minutes, as did a blocked shot.