Future of the Gophers rests in the hands of two freshman guards

It's an opinion that many Gopher fans are starting to buy into -- future success of the Gophers men's basketball team could rely on the growth of freshman guards Joe Coleman and Andre Hollins.
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It's an opinion that many Gopher fans are starting to buy into -- future success of the Gophers men's basketball team could rely on the growth of freshman guards Joe Coleman and Andre Hollins.

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Maverick Ahanmisi will start at at point guard for Gophers in Big Ten opener

Tubby Smith says sophomore Maverick Ahanmisi will start at point guard when the Gophers open up Big Ten play Tuesday at Illinois. Ahanmisi has started the last three games, playing well enough to earn the job. Freshman Andre Hollins had the starting role before turning an ankle two weeks ago.

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Gophers guard Joe Coleman is getting some well-deserved recognition. He’s been named the Big 10 Freshman of the Week after helping Minnesota win a pair of road games against Indiana and Penn State.

Strong backcourt leading Gophers

Tubby Smith says the Gophers' backcourt is the strength of the team. Junior college transfer Julian Welch has been outstanding playing point guard. Meanwhile, youngsters Andre Hollins, Chip Armelin, Austin Hollins, Maverick Ahanmisi and Joe Coleman have played significant roles.

Hollins' minutes won't fade with Ahanmisi starting at point guard

Tubby Smith is expected to give Maverick Ahanmisi the starting point guard job when the Gophers open up Big Ten Conference play at Illinois Tuesday night. Freshman Andre Hollins did have the job, but an ankle injury gave Ahanmisi a chance to claim the starting role. Smith says Hollins will likely play the same number of minutes off the bench as he did as a starter.

Gophers' Mo Walker returns to practice, Andre Hollins still bothered by ankle

Gophers big man Mo Walker is back practicing with the team and is "almost fully engaged now", according to head coach Tubby Smith. There still isn't a timetable for Walker to return to game-action. Freshman point guard Andre Hollins' ankle is still tender and he's questionable for Thursday's game against NDSU.

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Rachel Banham is on the fast tract to stardom in women's basketball. On Monday, she was named Big Ten freshman of the year. She led the Gophers in scoring at 16.1 points/game. Banham says she "felt pretty comfortable" as the Gophers' leader from day one.

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Madison Square Garden plays host the Gophers and Stanford tonight in the NIT championship game. Minnesota defeated Washington in the semifinals thanks to a big game from freshman Andre Hollins. Tubby Smith says he wants Hollins to have the ball in clutch situations "because he’s making very good decisions with it.”