Smith calls on Sampson, Hollins to step up

With No. 6 Michigan State in town -- and a three-game losing streak threatening to sink the season -- Gophers coach Tubby Smith is asking veterans Ralph Sampson III and Andre Hollins to take more of a leadership role.
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With No. 6 Michigan State in town -- and a three-game losing streak threatening to sink the season -- Gophers coach Tubby Smith is asking veterans Ralph Sampson III and Andre Hollins to take more of a leadership role.

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Gophers could be without Sampson

The Gophers could be without starting big man Ralph Sampson III against Northwestern in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday. Sampson injured his knee two days ago and hasn't practice since.

Sampson starting for Gophers tonight

Ralph Sampson III is back in the starting lineup tonight as the Gophers host Appalachian State in non-conference play at Williams Arena. Sampson missed the previous two games because of a turned ankle. Andre Hollins is also starting despite turning an ankle in Saturday's win over USC.

Sampson's ankle feeling better

It's still unclear if Ralph Sampson III will play Tuesday night when the Gophers host Appalachian State, but he was moving around much better during Monday's practice. The 6-foot-11 senior center has missed the last two games.

Andre Hollins leads Gophers into NIT championship

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.”