Gophers announce signing of two touted guards

Josh Katzenstein

The Minnesota men’s basketball team officially signed two of the nation’s top 100 guards to the 2011-12 recruiting class Wednesday, according to a press release.

Joe Coleman from Hopkins and Andre Hollins from Memphis, Tenn. (White Station High School) both signed a National Letter of Intent as part of the early signing period. Coleman is the No. 34 guard in the country and Hollins (no relation to freshman Austin Hollins) is ranked No. 40, according to Rivals.com.

Coleman (6-foot-4, 200 pounds) helped lead the Royals to a second consecutive Class 4A state title. He is the brother of Dan Coleman, who played his senior season under current coach Tubby Smith. Their uncle, Ben Coleman, also played for the Gophers.

“He’s a slasher and a scorer and a guy that has an amazing worth ethic and is in the gym constantly,” Smith said of Coleman in the release. “He’ll bring leadership to this team. I was so lucky and fortunate to coach his brother, so it gave us that insight into the Coleman family.”

As for the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Hollins, he chose Minnesota over Auburn, Harvard, Mississippi and Stanford. He will likely play point guard for the Gophers.

“He is a big, physical guard that can defend multiple positions,” Smith said about Hollins in the release. “One of the good things about Andre is that he has the mental IQ to run a team. He has speed, great hands, strength and love for the game.”