Joe Coleman might get his chance to start against Boilermakers

  • Updated: January 7, 2012 - 8:12 AM
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Minnesota's Joe Coleman, left, against Virginia Tech.

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune

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With his team stumbling to an 0-3 start in the Big Ten, Gophers men's basketball coach Tubby Smith is thinking of tweaking his starting lineup.

Smith hinted Friday he is considering starting freshman Joe Coleman, though it's still unclear who the starting five will be Sunday vs. Purdue.

"We will probably be changing the lineup," Smith said. "The guys that have been most efficient -- Joe, who gives us a real aggressive nature there. Joe is a physical player and that's something we're lacking right now. Austin [Hollins] has been struggling [to] shoot the ball. I'm not saying we will, but we're looking at that."

Coleman averages 3.7 points and 9.9 minutes off the bench, but in a three-game stretch against Appalachian State, St. Peter's and Central Michigan, Coleman scored a total of 31 points.

Smith also mentioned two other players -- Elliot Eliason and Oto Osenieks -- in the shakeup conversation, saying both could contribute the physical play Smith believes the team has been lacking.

AMELIA RAYNO

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