Coleman hits 1,000-point milestone in win over CSU

Learning a new style his senior year has not been easy, but Coleman seems to be settling in.

When Dan Coleman made his decision to go to school at Boston College, few, if any, would have predicted that as quickly as the East Coast had snatched him up, he’d be back in Minneapolis.

But that was the case as Coleman transferred to the University after attending summer school at Boston College. And since being in a Gophers uniform, the senior forward has had quite an illustrious career, with the latest of honors coming Saturday night as he joined 33 others in the elite 1,000 points scorer club.

Coleman, who has started in all seven of the Gophers’ regular season games, is averaging a team-leading 12.1 points per game and his 22 points Saturday put him over the 1,000 mark as he made an appearance in his 100th game in a Minnesota uniform.

“Dan did a good job tonight establishing himself as a scorer and a player,” senior center Spencer Tollackson said after the 91-74 victory over Colorado State. “And that’s huge for our team because we do look to Dan for leadership.”

That leadership has been apparent especially in Minnesota’s last two victories, where Coleman netted 15 and 22 points and grabbed 20 rebounds as well.

That’s good news for Gophers fans as Coleman and his fellow teammates have taken a team that was 9-22 last season and put them on a winning course. As they sit at 6-1, they are three wins away from tying the team’s total from 2006-07.

Many give credit to coach Tubby Smith for the big turnaround, but after playing under coaches Dan Monson and Jim Molinari’s system for the last three years, the adjustment hasn’t been the easiest.

“I feel like I’m starting to settle in a little bit,” Coleman said. “Learning the new system hasn’t been the most natural transition for me.”

Easy transition or not, Minnesota has looked to its seniors for guidance, and at the beginning of the year, Coleman hadn’t gotten out to the start most had been expecting from him.

But Tollackson was adamant about the type of player Coleman can be and after Coleman’s season-high 22 points and 11 rebounds against Colorado State, it’s apparent a new and improved Dan Coleman could be arriving at Williams Arena from now on.

“I think the first couple of games this year said nothing about Dan Coleman as a player,” Tollackson said. “We saw what we can do here tonight.”