This is Amelia Rayno's third 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

Austin Hollins to work out for the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers players Updated: May 28, 2014 - 3:31 PM

Austin Hollins isn't getting much love in NBA mock drafts, but that doesn't mean there isn't at least some interest from teams. 

The 6-4 shooting guard, who graduated from the University of Minnesota this spring, is one of six players scheduled to work out for the Minnesota Timberwolves tomorrow, according to a press release.

The Wolves have three second-round picks in the June 26 draft: Nos. 40 (from New Orleans), 44 (their own slot) and 53 (from Golden State).

It's his first workout with any NBA team, the younger Hollins said. 

In an interesting twist, his father, unemployed NBA coach Lionel Hollins (who most recently worked for the Memphis Grizzlies) is considered one of the top candidates in the Timberwolves coaching search.

After a strong start to the season, averaging 13 points and 7 rebounds -- including a single game high of 14 vs. South Dakota State in a game that also pushed him past 1,000 career points -- in the first 15 games of the year, Hollins received probably the most NBA scouting attention of his four-year career. Representatives from the San Antonio Spurs, Clevelant Cavaliers, New York Knicks and the Phoenix Suns, among others, watched the Memphis native at some point, according to a source. 

A mid-year slump wiped the sheen off those early numbers when the reputed defender inexplicably lost his shooting touch, going 9-for-42 (21.4 percent) from three-point range in the 13 games following the hot start.

But it wasn't the final impression for the guard who has been lauded as the team's hardest worker both by former coach Tubby Smith and current coach Richard Pitino.

Hollins finished the year averaging 16.6 points in the final ten games and playing the role of difference maker in several big wins. Against Iowa, the Gophers having lost six of their last eight, the 22-year-old posted 27 points on a hailstorm of baskets, making up for lost time. He achieved a new career high, 32 points in the NIT quarterfinals, easing Minnesota past Southern Miss and capped the run at Madison Square Garden with 17 points against Florida State and 19 against SMU in the championship game, earning NIT Most Outstanding Player honors.

The concern has been that while Hollins was unquestionably the most well-rounded Minnesota player last season, he might not do anything at the NBA level. His shooting ability has been largely inconsistent throughout his career and though his lengthy wingspan diminishes size concerns, it could be difficult for him to guard opponents at the next stage.

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