Top 10 clash comes down to guards of Gophers and Wolverines

  • Article by: AMELIA RAYNO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 17, 2013 - 6:20 AM

Thursday's Big Ten battle between two Top-10 teams might be decided by the play of point guards: Michigan's Trey Burke and the Gophers' Andre Hollins.

The last time the Gophers played Michigan, Minnesota was a team trying to make sense of a Big Ten collapse, with then-freshman Andre Hollins trying to figure out the point guard role on the fly.

Hollins scored 21 points in that Big Ten tournament game last season and battled with his highly touted counterpart, Trey Burke -- who erupted for 30 points for the Wolverines -- but ultimately the Gophers fell short in a 73-69 overtime loss. Michigan was stronger, Burke was better; Hollins, carrying Minnesota, was not quite there.

Tonight, however, could be a different story.

"I've changed a lot," Hollins said, grinning. "Just knowing how to run a team as a point guard, I obviously have to take care of the ball more than I did. ... It's going to be a great matchup and [Burke is] a great player. I've been watching film on him. It's going to be a challenge -- I'm looking forward to it."

No. 5 Michigan comes to Williams Arena to face the No. 9 Gophers tonight with both teams eager to shake off their first conference losses of the season last weekend -- Michigan at Ohio State, the Gophers at Indiana. The deciding factor might be how well the Gophers backcourt can neutralize Michigan's guards.

Burke heads a group of Wolverines perimeter players that is among the most impressive in college basketball, including Tim Hardaway Jr. -- who lit up the Gophers for 20 points in their last meeting -- and freshman shooter Nik Stauskas. Burke might be the most hyped of the bunch, but being surrounded by scoring threats is part of what has made the sophomore so successful this season, leading the team with 18 points and seven assists per game.

Hollins got a good prep course for the task ahead by playing against No. 2 Indiana's Yogi Ferrell, whom Hollins struggled to guard one-on-one. As teammates came off their assignments to help Hollins, Ferrell would pass to open Hoosiers for uncontested jump shots. With Michigan utilizing a similarly balanced attack, the pressure will be on Hollins to keep Burke in front of him.

"It's going to be critical that we contain [Burke]," Gophers coach Tubby Smith said. "You're not going to stop a great player like Trey Burke, but you've got to try to limit the things he can beat you at. ... He can beat you in many different areas, whether it's penetrating or pitching it to open guys or making the jump shot or driving all the way to the basket for layups. He's just a very versatile and very talented player. So it's going to take not one guy, but a team effort."

Considering the Wolverines' potent scorers other than Burke, that chore will be a grind. In a 95-67 victory over Iowa on Jan. 6, freshman Glenn Robinson III broke loose for 20 points. Stauskas is capable of hitting three-pointers in bunches and has made more than half his attempts from behind the arc this season.

"It's really tough because you shut down one guy and some other guy is going to be able to score," said Gophers guard Joe Coleman, who will try to cover the Michigan perimeter players along with Andre and Austin Hollins. "We've just really got to focus in on disrupting them as much as we can on defense and limit our mistakes."

The Gophers still endure stretches where they seem to get out of sync on defense and allow that sloppiness to carry over into their offense, producing rashes of turnovers. But as a whole, the Gophers offense clearly is running more fluidly than a year ago.

Minnesota is geared up for the challenge now, and eager to show the difference a season has made.

"Sometimes last year I'd come down the floor like a deer in headlights, like 'Should I run, I don't know, I don't know.'" Andre Hollins said. "This year I'm more in control, just kind of scoping out the defense, know what plays work for us, know what plays don't work as well, know what plays we need to call, who's hot."

  • (9) GOPHERS VS. (5) MICHIGAN

    6 tonight • Williams Arena • TV: ESPN2 (1500-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Atlanta 12:05 PM
Detroit
Philadelphia 12:05 PM
Houston
St. Louis 12:05 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12:05 PM
Tampa Bay
NY Yankees 12:05 PM
Pittsburgh
Chicago Cubs 2:05 PM
San Francisco
Los Angeles 2:05 PM
Chicago WSox
San Diego 2:05 PM
Seattle
Cleveland 2:05 PM
Cincinnati
Milwaukee 2:05 PM
LA Angels
Oakland 2:05 PM
Chicago Cubs
Texas 2:05 PM
Kansas City
Colorado 2:10 PM
Arizona
NY Mets 4:05 PM
Washington
Boston 6:05 PM
Minnesota
Toronto 6:05 PM
Baltimore
Oklahoma City 7:00 PM
Chicago
Dallas 9:30 PM
Portland
Calgary 6:00 PM
Boston
St. Louis 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Minnesota 6:00 PM
Washington
Toronto 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Dallas 6:30 PM
Florida
NY Islanders 7:00 PM
Nashville
Vancouver 8:00 PM
Arizona
Montreal 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Morgan State 3:00 PM
MD-Eastern Shore
Niagara 4:00 PM
Siena
Holy Cross 6:00 PM
Bucknell
Western Ky 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Navy 6:00 PM
Colgate
Temple 6:00 PM
East Carolina
UAB 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
Boston Univ 6:00 PM
Lafayette
American Univ 6:00 PM
Lehigh
Wisconsin 6:00 PM
Minnesota
Fairfield 6:00 PM
Saint Peters
Arkansas 6:00 PM
South Carolina
Morehead State 6:00 PM
UT Martin
USC Upstate 6:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Lipscomb 6:00 PM
North Florida
Southern Ill 6:05 PM
Missouri State
Texas State 6:30 PM
Appalachian St
SC State 6:30 PM
Bethune-Cookman
Delaware State 6:30 PM
Coppin State
Middle Tennessee 6:30 PM
FIU
Texas-Arlington 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Norfolk State 6:30 PM
Hampton
NC A&T 6:30 PM
NC Central
Savannah State 7:00 PM
Florida A&M
Southern Miss 7:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Georgia State 7:00 PM
ULM
Marshall 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Rice 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ark-Little Rock 7:15 PM
Louisiana
South Alabama 7:30 PM
Arkansas State
Alabama State 7:30 PM
Grambling St
Alabama A&M 7:30 PM
Jackson State
Sam Houston St 7:30 PM
Lamar
Central Arkansas 7:30 PM
Nicholls
Portland State 7:30 PM
Northern Ariz
Southern U 7:30 PM
Prairie View
Alcorn State 7:30 PM
Texas Southern
Houston Baptist 7:30 PM
TX A&M-CC
SE Louisiana 7:45 PM
New Orleans
California 8:00 PM
Arizona
Eastern Ill 8:00 PM
Belmont
Memphis 8:00 PM
Connecticut
VA Commonwealth 8:00 PM
Davidson
Ark-Pine Bluff 8:00 PM
Miss Valley St
Marist 8:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Sacramento St 8:00 PM
Southern Utah
Northwestern St 8:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
North Texas 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 8:00 PM
Washington
Idaho 8:00 PM
Weber State
Abilene Christian 8:00 PM
Incarnate Word
Eastern Wash 8:05 PM
Idaho State
Bradley 8:35 PM
Drake
Cal State Fullerton 9:00 PM
UC Irvine
CS-Northridge 9:00 PM
Long Beach State
UC Riverside 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Stanford 10:00 PM
Arizona State
Utah 10:00 PM
Washington St
Monmouth 68 FINAL
Canisius 56
Wake Forest 27 1st Half 4:10
(22) Syracuse 26
Saint Louis 0 1st Half 17:59
VA Commonwealth 2
Saint Peters 10:45 AM
Rider
UNC-Asheville 11:00 AM
Liberty
UNC Greensboro 11:00 AM
(17) Chattanooga
Michigan State 11:30 AM
Michigan
Arkansas 12:00 PM
Ole Miss
Manhattan 12:30 PM
Niagara
Massachusetts 1:00 PM
Richmond
Virginia 1:00 PM
Miami-Florida
Campbell 1:00 PM
Winthrop
Jacksonville St 1:00 PM
Belmont
Morgan State 1:00 PM
MD-Eastern Shore
Furman 1:15 PM
Samford
Oregon 1:30 PM
Washington St
Indiana 1:55 PM
(23) Rutgers
Pepperdine 2:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Auburn 2:25 PM
(18) Texas A&M
Morehead St 3:00 PM
Tennessee St
George Mason 3:30 PM
Saint Josephs
Western Carolina 3:30 PM
East Tenn St
Arizona 4:00 PM
UCLA
Texas State 4:00 PM
Appalachian St
TX-Arlington 4:00 PM
Georgia Southern
SC State 4:30 PM
Bethune-Cookman
Delaware State 4:30 PM
Coppin State
Portland 4:30 PM
Santa Clara
Norfolk State 4:30 PM
Hampton
NC A&T 4:30 PM
NC Central
Savannah State 5:00 PM
Florida A&M
Virginia Tech 5:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Central Arkansas 5:00 PM
Nicholls
Houston Baptist 5:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
Gardner-Webb 5:00 PM
Radford
Georgia 5:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 5:00 PM
Marshall
Ark-Little Rock 5:00 PM
Louisiana
South Alabama 5:05 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 5:15 PM
ULM
Sam Houston St 5:30 PM
Lamar
SE Louisiana 5:30 PM
New Orleans
Northwestern St 5:30 PM
Stephen F Austin
Alabama A&M 5:30 PM
Jackson State
Alabama State 5:30 PM
Grambling
Ark-Pine Bluff 5:30 PM
Miss Valley St
Southern U 5:30 PM
Prairie View
Alcorn State 5:30 PM
Texas Southern
Wofford 5:45 PM
Mercer
Abilene Christian 6:00 PM
Incarnate Word
La Salle 6:00 PM
Rhode Island
Illinois 6:00 PM
Nebraska
TX-San Antonio 6:00 PM
Rice
Valparaiso 6:00 PM
Oakland
Missouri State 6:05 PM
Indiana State
Georgia Tech 7:00 PM
(15) North Carolina
Presbyterian 7:00 PM
High Point
Charlotte 7:00 PM
Western Ky
Florida Atlantic 7:00 PM
UAB
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
North Texas
Wichita State 7:00 PM
Evansville
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Northern Iowa
Bradley 7:05 PM
Drake
Vanderbilt 7:30 PM
(12) Kentucky
Colorado 8:00 PM
USC
San Francisco 8:00 PM
Pacific
FIU 8:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Idaho State 8:00 PM
Eastern Washington
Weber State 8:00 PM
Idaho
Purdue 8:25 PM
Minnesota
Cal-Irvine 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Long Beach St 9:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Hawaii 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
UC Davis 9:00 PM
UC-Riverside
Northern Ariz 9:00 PM
Portland State
Southern Utah 9:00 PM
Sacramento St
Utah 10:30 PM
Washington
BYU 10:30 PM
St Marys-CA
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is the best center on a Twin Cities sports team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close