Best Gophers hoops performances of the decade? Andre Hollins was there for both – Minneapolis Star Tribune

Posted: December 31, 2019 at 6:48 pm

Two weeks ago, Andre Hollins sat behind the bench with his former Gophers basketball teammates and friends watching the programs biggest victory in nearly a decade unfold in the blowout over then-No. 3 Ohio State at the Barn.

Hollins, who starred for Minnesota from 2011-15, has the best single-game performance for the Gophers in the last four decades, but he was also in attendance for sophomore Marcus Carrs memorable 35-point effort against the Buckeyes.

It was most points by a U player since Hollins exploded for 41 points in a win against his hometown program, Memphis, in the Battle for Atlantis in the Bahamas his sophomore year in 2012.

Hes the catalyst of the team, Hollins said of Carr. Everything goes through him. He runs it. Theyre not very deep with experience. Theyre really young, but they can, like Marcus says, compete with anyone in the country. They showed it.

A big reason Hollins was in town goes backseven years ago the same season hebecame the first Gopher to score 40 points in a game since the 1970s.

In 2012, Hollins signed up to be a blood donor for Be the Match, the global leader in bone marrow transplants. It was during an event called Hope Day for Gophers athletes on campus.

The organization didnt find a genetic match for Hollins until this summer. The 27-year-old Memphis native returned to Minneapolis this month for them to retrieve his stem cell donation a couple days after the Gophers defeated Ohio State on Dec. 15.

Hollins lookedforward to the patient being strong enoughphysically to receive the marrow, which can help to battle blood cancers such as leukemia and sickle cell.

Its always good to be a blessing to someone and give back, Hollins said. And it was easy. [Be the Match] makes sure you have all the information. They take care of the flights and travel and get you to where youre going. They make it really easy for the donor. Now, hopefully the patient is ready.

Hollins most recently played a full basketball season in the Hungarian League in 2017-18 before taking a break to fully recover from a strained Achilles. Hes healthy now and waiting for another opportunity to continue his pro career overseas.

It all worked out for Hollins to watch a big win for his alma mater, spend the holidays with ex-teammates like KendalShell and Trevor Mbakwe and friend and ex-Gopher womens star Rachel Banham (She has two of thebest U hoops performance of the decade overall with her 60 points vs. Northwestern and 52 points vs. Michigan State in 2016). But most importantly, he got to help someone in need back in Minnesota.

I always love to come back, Hollins said. That was an awesome game to come to. [A lot] of magic there.

This year isn't officially the end of the decade, not untilafter 2020.But Hollins and Carr, who both played for Richard Pitino,hadtwo of the biggest individual performances from 2010 until the present.

Here'smy ranking of the top 10 Gophers mens hoops performances since 2010. Let me know if I missed any of them.

TOP GOPHERS PERFORMANCES SINCE 2010

NEXT FIVE: Gabe Kalscheur 34 points on 7 for 9 threes in Dec. 21 win vs. Oklahoma State, Jordan Murphy 35 points and 15 rebounds vs. USC Upstate in 2017-18 opener, Daniel Oturu 21 points and 20 rebounds in Dec. 28 win vs. Florida International (first Gopher 20-20 game since 1966), Austin Hollins 32 points with six threes and three steals in the NIT quarterfinal win vs. Southern Miss in his final home game in 2014 (Austin Hollins eventually named NIT Most Outstanding Player after leading the Gophers to NIT title), Amir Coffey 32 points on 8 for 16 field goals and 14 of 17 free throws with six rebounds and six assists in win Dec. 5 vs. No. 24 Nebraska (Win was dedicated to Dupree McBrayer's mother, Tayra McFarlane, who died earlier in the week).

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Best Gophers hoops performances of the decade? Andre Hollins was there for both - Minneapolis Star Tribune

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