Gophers vs. Coastal Carolina: 5 things to watch for

by Jace Frederick

The Gophers take on Coastal Carolina in the opening game (well, sorta… but not really) of the Maui Invitational on Tuesday night at Williams Arena .
Here are 5 things to watch for:
Can Andre Hollins keep it rolling?- Hollins scored 24 against Montana and dumped in 26 against Richmond  in Minnesota's 74-59 win on Saturday night. He said he wanted to up his scoring average from the 14.6 he scored per game last season. He’s currently at 22.7 a game. Gophers head coach Richard Pitino wants him to be aggressive — he’s certainly been that so far.
Is Austin Hollins the Gophers best rebounder?- No. That’s still Elliott Eliason. But still, two straight double-digit performances on the glass is impressive, especially for a 6-feet-4-inch guard. His production is a savior for a Gophers team currently lacking junior center Mo Walker.
The emergence of Malik Smith- Smith got off to a slow start through the Gophers first two outings (4.5 ppg), but he picked it up in Saturday’s win over Richmond. Smith scored 11 points on 10 shots. He said he’s learning to pick his spots, and said the Richmond game was the most comfortable he’s felt as a Gopher. We’ll see if that game serves as a launching point for his season.
Can DeAndre Mathieu rebound?: Mathieu had his first rough performance as a Gopher against Richmond. He finished with just four points and three assists to go along with three turnovers as Mathieu struggled with foul trouble throughout the game. The poor performance came after he was electric in directing the Gophers up-tempo scheme in their first two games. It will be interesting to see how Mathieu responds on Tuesday.
Does Pitino own Coastal Carolina?- Pitino got his first career head coaching win in Florida International’s 87-77 win over the Chants last November. I’m thinking Pitino should get another win on Tuesday, and it might not be as close.