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.

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Andre Hollins out through at least until Indiana game, most likely

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers coaches, Gophers players Updated: January 31, 2014 - 6:19 PM

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."


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