Gophers men’s basketball holds All-Star Friday Night

Ralph Sampson III won the 3-point contest; Joe Coleman won the dunk contest; Trevor Mbakwe scored 15 points.

Charlie Armitz

Minnesota held its version of âÄúMidnight MadnessâÄù Friday night at Williams Arena.

âÄúGopher All-Star Friday NightâÄù included a 3-point contest, dunk contest and a 20-minute scrimmage.

Senior forward Ralph Sampson III defeated freshman guard Andre Hollins in the final

of the 3-point contest. Sampson made 10 of 15 shots, including all three money balls (worth two points) to tally 15 points. Hollins finished with a total of 13.

Freshman guard Joe Coleman won the dunk contest. Coleman squared off against Rodney Williams in the final and claimed the championship by throwing down a dunk similar to former Indiana Pacers guard Fred Jones in the 2004 NBA Slam Dunk Contest.

He intentionally air-balled a lob pass and grabbed the rebound off a single bounce, fully extending before exploding through his finish at the rim.

The team held a 20-minute scrimmage, in which the roster was split into a maroon team and gold team.

The maroon team defeated the gold team 33-27. The teams played two 10-minute halves.

Senior forward Trevor Mbakwe played on the maroon team and led all scorers with 15 points. Coleman led the gold team with 12.

Tubby SmithâÄôs press conference notes

Tubby Smith addressed reporters for 30 minutes at the teamâÄôs annual media day Thursday at Williams Arena.

He took most of the time to discuss each playerâÄôs offseason and the roles of his players during the 2011-12 season.

He said the team has yet to decide who will start at point guard, but that he is not opposed to starting a freshman.

âÄúThe returning players obviously have the upper hand,âÄù Smith said. âÄúMaverick [Ahanmisi] played the point last year. But Andre Hollins and Julian [Welch] are very gifted athletes. ItâÄôll be a lot of competition.âÄù

Smith also addressed his health, which was a concern last spring when he had prostate cancer surgery.

âÄúIâÄôm fine,âÄù he said. âÄúIâÄôve got to go back for checkup eventually. ItâÄôs clean so far, knock on wood. IâÄôve been blessed.âÄù

The Gophers play their first exhibition game Nov. 1 at home against Bemidji State.

Regular season play begins at home versus Bucknell on Nov. 11.