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

Wait, what happened to ... Joe Coleman?

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers players Updated: March 8, 2013 - 10:11 AM

 

 

It’s been difficult to get a read on Joe Coleman all season.

Sure, the guard is still a sophomore and has plenty to learn. And when you look at the totals, Coleman’s numbers have pretty much gone up across the board compared to his freshman season. So you’ve got to give him props there.

But the concern is that, in the conference schedule this season, Coleman had been inconsistent at best, and regressive at worst.

A year ago, he was a new instillation in the starting lineup, and therefore didn’t have the same opportunities to pad his stats in the non-conference schedule. He certainly did that this season, averaging 10.2 points as the team headed into the Big Ten slate. In the last seven games, he’s averaged just 5.1 points a contest.

Wednesday wasn’t the first time Coleman went scoreless in this league schedule – he also did so at Ohio State on Feb. 20. In between he had a pretty solid game against Indiana (nine points, five rebounds) and then had an energizing, 12-point performance off the bench against Penn State.

But when Smith brought his wing off the bench for a second time, Coleman had a hard time even getting involved. The guard didn’t attempt a single shot from the field, and went 0-for-1 from the free throw line.

Why the inconsistency? Why is it that Coleman can show such aggressiveness and attack in moments and look totally lost or disinterested in others?

It wouldn’t be shocking if Coleman was a little, shall we say, surprised by the lineup on Wednesday, even though the group that played had been practicing together quite a bit that week. Taking Coleman out of the starting five – at least for a while – is probably the right choice, as I have been saying for sometime. But doing it in that manner – starting both Julian Welch and Andre Ingram, who has done some really nice things for the Gophers, but simply doesn’t belong in that role – was questionable and probably difficult to understand from both Coleman and Andre Hollins’ perspectives.

Coleman’s strengths should lie in bringing a spark of energy – whether at the start or in reserve -- and scoring potential in driving to the basket and drawing fouls.

But it’s possible that coming off the bench, or playing fewer minutes in a given game, will have a mental effect on the sophomore, given that he’s been starting consistently since the middle of last season. Is it possible coach Tubby Smith gave Coleman that role too quickly, setting him up for a letdown later? At this point, removing Coleman from the starting lineup as the team heads into the postseason could remove his impact significantly.

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland 86 FINAL
Indiana 93
Washington 81 FINAL
Philadelphia 89
Golden State 113 FINAL
Toronto 89
New York 121 FINAL
Detroit 115
Orlando 88 FINAL
Atlanta 95
Charlotte 98 FINAL
Boston 106
LA Clippers 97 FINAL
Memphis 79
Brooklyn 98 FINAL
Houston 102
Miami 102 FINAL
New Orleans 104
Minnesota 89 FINAL
Chicago 96
Utah 104 FINAL
Denver 82
San Antonio 107 FINAL
Sacramento 96
Milwaukee 93 FINAL
LA Lakers 101
Oklahoma City 112 FINAL
Portland 115
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 2
Calgary 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Washington 0 FINAL
Carolina 3
Chicago 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay 4
Colorado 5 FINAL(SO)
Dallas 4
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Siena 63 FINAL
Quinnipiac 73
Harvard 49 FINAL
Cornell 57
Penn 69 FINAL
Brown 75
Fairfield 65 FINAL
Canisius 72
Manhattan 75 FINAL
Iona 79
Saint Peters 67 FINAL
Marist 69
Princeton 60 FINAL
Yale 81
Ohio 58 FINAL
Akron 70
Dartmouth 84 FINAL
Columbia 71
Valparaiso 56 FINAL
Cleveland State 53
Louisiana Tech 75 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 88
Seton Hall 77 FINAL
Xavier 60
Cornell 54 FINAL
Harvard 60
Yale 49 FINAL
(14) Princeton 67
Elon 51 FINAL
Drexel 54
Northeastern 47 FINAL
James Madison 82
St Johns 60 FINAL
Butler 49
Creighton 71 FINAL
Georgetown 62
Brown 58 FINAL
Penn 75
Columbia 50 FINAL
Dartmouth 60
Canisius 54 FINAL
Siena 58
St Josephs Brooklyn 35 FINAL
NJIT 78
Western Carolina 86 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 80
Colorado 66 FINAL
Arizona 51
Southern Ill 72 FINAL
Bradley 66
Drake 59 FINAL
Wichita State 80
Indiana State 71 FINAL
Evansville 53
Illinois State 53 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 67
Northern Iowa 70 FINAL
Missouri State 72
Utah 42 FINAL
(10) Arizona State 46
Providence 62 FINAL
Villanova 71
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