Coach Tubby Smith won’t say for sure, but freshman Andre Hollins confirmed that he believes the plan is for him to start tomorrow against Ohio State.
He tugged on his jersey –one of the maroon duds reserved specifically for starters -- for proof.
“I think so,” he said. “I’m in maroon today so yeah, I’m a starter.”
It’s now looking like Hollins would start at the 2-guard, which means struggling Joe Coleman – who hasn’t scored in three consecutive games – would come out of the lineup and the Gophers would look pretty small against the physical Ohio State.
Smith said that a possible promotion for Hollins would be due to his recent offensive explosiveness, as well as the new emphasis on defense he’s displayed in the last several games.
We’re just trying to find the guys we need to the ball in their hands, and he is one of those guys we think can do that,” Smith said.
Other notes from access:
·      Smith acknowledged the potential matchup problem with guarding Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger. “We might put a mask on Ralph,” Smith said with a laugh. “Make him think he’s Trevor, or put a mask on some of those other guys like Rodney. No. We’ve got to have some help, whoever’s guarding him. We can’t guard that kid one-on-one, Jared is just a great player. He had a tough game the other night but we know he’s better than that and so we know we’ve got to do everything possible whether it’s doubling, or figuring out whatever we need to do to keep the ball out of his hands.
·      Hollins said his previous right ankle injury had stymied his game for quite a while and compounded some mental issues. But now? “Oh, I’m back,” he said.
·      Joe Coleman said he didn’t notice any difference in the way other teams have been guarding him in the last few games. “Actually I don’t think so at all,” he said. “I think the team was struggling on setting screens, coming off screens … I haven’t been curling to the basket as much. Just things like that we kind of lost track of because it was going so well at one point that we just had a little slippage.”