Hollins Discusses Minnesota Commitment

A day after his verbal commitment to the Gophers, 6-foot-1 guard Andre Hollins talked with Goldensports.net about his decision to go to Minnesota, his switch to the point guard position and how he will fit into the Gopher basketball team.

Andre Hollins is a 6-foot-1 guard from Memphis, Tennessee and committed to Tubby Smith and the Gophers on Saturday evening. Hollins is an excellent athlete with a silky three point shot. Hollins also considered, Ole Miss, Auburn, Harvard and Stanford.

While many of Hollins 2011 classmates have committed already, Hollins took his time and went on all five of his visits to find out what was best for him. When asked how it felt to finally be over with the recruiting process he said, "It's just a relief. Now I can focus on my senior year. We have, we start our first official practice tomorrow." He went on to say that he felt, "Relieved to, you know, to know where I'm going and I made the right choice."

Some reports had Hollins leaning towards attending Stanford. When asked about the Minnesota coaches responded when he told them of his commitment he said, "They were kind of like 'What?' Because my dad, my dad kind of led them on into believing that we wasn't going to come. He was kind of thanking them for everything and you know he kind of played a trick on them and he was like, 'I just have one more question, would you have Andre as a Minnesota Gopher?' And Coach Smith was like, 'What? Are you saying you want to commit?'" Hollins went on to say that, "They were real excited."

With four other solid schools to choose from, Hollins explained what made Minnesota stand out above the others. "I mean it just felt right. I feel real comfortable there with Coach Smith. And the Big Ten, the conference play I feel that was a huge factor." He also said, "When I was down there the people was so nice and I just really enjoyed myself and could see myself really being successful in Minnesota."

A fierce competitor, Hollins said he has very high expectations for the Gophers next season. He said, "When I come in I have the highest expectation. When I come in as a freshman I hope we expect to win a national championship."

During his high school career Hollins has mainly started at shooting guard. Hollins will be expected to play the point for Minnesota. Hollins said, "I kind of transitioned there during the summer." He went on to say, "I had a really good summer because the coaches could see how versatile I was. They had me switching up to the point guard position. It made me diverse." He added, "They already knew I could shoot and score and play the two-guard. I just, I worked on my ball handling."

Tubby Smith's teams are known for their smart offensive play and hard-nosed defense. Hollins was asked how he thought he could fit into Tubby Smith's system Hollins responded, "I think I fit perfectly because I'm a really good defensive player. I kind of strive on defense, I kind of take pride on defense. I just think that really helped, I fit in perfectly. That was another factor, fitting in with the team. There's going to be a need for me next year, you know, with Al Nolen and Blake Hoffarber [graduating]."

Hollins is the second commit for the Gophers' 2011 recruiting class. The other recruit is Hopkins High School wing Joe Coleman. Hollins was asked what he knew about Coleman and what he thought the duo could accomplish in college. He said, "When I visited he was there and we hung out. He's real cool. And I mean we are going to do some damage."

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