At Hopkins High School, Joe Coleman often played in pressure-filled games, including in the state championship. Now a Golden Gopher, Coleman has already found himself in pressure situations as a freshman. He made four straight free throws in crunch time in Minnesota's road victory over No. 7/8 Indiana.
Learn more about Minnesota's 2011 Mr. Basketball winner in this Q&A and video. We asked him about his successful high school career, his older brother Dan (a Gopher from 2004-08), and more.
Q: With all your history at the University of Minnesota, did you ever really consider going anywhere else?
A: When I was younger, I never really thought about it, because I was still so young. I thought I'd probably go somewhere different. I never really thought about it. But after going other places, visiting other campuses, I really liked the feel here a lot better than other places, and that's when I realized I wanted to come here.
Q: Who wins in one-on-one, you or Dan?
A: Oh, that's me. Every time. Sometimes he'll get lucky, but other than that, it's definitely me.
Q: What does winning Mr. Basketball and Gatorade Player of the Year mean to you?
A: They mean a lot, but without my team and without the success that my team had, I wouldn't have been able to get those. It's a personal award, but it also comes with your team, and your team helps you earn it. I appreciate that my team helped me out with everything.
Q: What is it like playing with another Mr. Basketball, Andre Hollins?
A: It's good. He's a top competitor. He knows what it takes to be a winner. It's fun to be with a great teammate.
Q: What are some of your favorite high school basketball memories?
A: Beating Eden Prairie in the state championship, that's probably one of my greatest moments. Or junior year when we won in double overtime against Henry Sibley.
Q: Talk about the first time you dunked.
A: The first time, I was a freshman. In the Hopkins back gym--the old gym they used to play in back in the day--that's the first time I dunked.
Q: Was it a pretty good dunk?
A: It was a legit dunk. When I did it, I shocked myself. People were like, "Just try. Just try." I was like, "I'm not going to be able to do it." And when I did, I shocked myself. I never really thought I could do it, but I was able to.
Q: You have been around the U for quite awhile, with your uncle and brother playing here, but have you noticed anything new around campus since you enrolled?
A: Obviously, TCF Bank Stadium, and a lot of the new apartments, like 412, FloCo, and Sydney Hall. None of that stuff was here when my brother played here, so it's nice to see something a little different.
Q: Do you have any pregame rituals?
A: I put my left sock on first and my left shoe on first. That's about it.
Q: What is your favorite sports movie?
A: That's a tough one. "Love and Basketball," I think that's pretty good. It's really all about sports, but that's a good one. Or "Hoosiers."