Austin Hollins is averaging more than eight points a game as a Gopher starter. He is also one of the team's leading three-point shooters. Learn more about the sophomore guard from Germantown, Tenn., with these Q&As. In the video above, Hollins gives his thoughts on Williams Arena, moving from Arizona to Tennessee, and more.
Q: You have been in the starting lineup for almost every game this season. Has that helped your confidence?
A: Yeah, it kind of helps my confidence. It's just a matter of working hard every day in practice. And I put in a lot of work during the offseason. So, it's nice to be in the starting lineup now this year.
Q: After leading the team in steals last season, you have a nice amount this year, too. How do you force so many turnovers?
A: I think it's just a matter of being in the right position on defense. You have to see your man and the ball. You have to know where you are. You have to know who your teammates have, what their men are doing, know the other team's plays, and just anticipate.
Q: A lot of times you are assigned to guard other teams' best players. What do you do to prepare for that challenge?
A: It's watching a lot of film, getting their tendencies, and just going out there and getting my mental mind state right, so I can go out there and have a lot of energy. I get a lot of rest the night before and just come out ready to play.
Q: Who is the toughest person you have guarded in college?
A: I think E'Twaun Moore was pretty tough to guard. Talor Battle is definitely tough to guard. So I'd have to say them from last year.
Q: You are one of the team's leading three-point shooters. Is it nice to have other guys, like Julian Welch and Andre Hollins, who can hit threes, too?
A: Yeah, definitely. It's nice because, if you're off, you have teammates that can pick you up. Seeing other people make shots helps you make shots, as well. So it's nice to be able to go to the basket, kick it out, and have teammates that can knock down shots.
Q: Are you always looking for threes, or are you usually looking to drive and just hit threes if they are open?
A: I would say that I look for threes more often, but it's a matter of just knowing when to shoot threes and when not to. Sometimes you have to be ready to pump fake and go to the basket and create for your teammates, as well.
Q: With the NBA lockout stretching into December, was your dad (Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins) able to come to more of your games than usual?
A: Yeah, he did. He came here for midnight madness (Gopher All-Star Friday Night in October) and he went to Orlando for our tournament down there for most of the games, so he got to see that. It was nice having him around.
Q: Do you follow the Grizzlies closely now that they are back in action?
A: Yeah, I try to follow them pretty closely, keep track of what they're doing.
Q: What is it like playing with another Hollins from Tennessee?
A: It's nice to have someone on the team from the same area you're from. Before we came to Minnesota, we weren't best friends. We knew each other, but we didn't hang out or anything. So we've really gotten to know each other since we've been here, and we hang out when we go home. He's like a little brother to me, even though we're not related.
Q: Did you and Andre play against each other in high school?
A: We did play against each other in high school.
Q: How well do you remember those matchups?
A: I didn't guard him most of the time. I guarded him a couple of games, but most of the time I wasn't on him.
Q: Who won?
A: Sad to say, they won every time. There were some close games that we should have won, but we won't go into any details.
Q: Have you decided on a major yet?
A: I'm going to be majoring in business marketing. I'll be declaring this coming semester.
Q: What led you to choose that major?
A: I wanted to do something involving business, so I went into the College of Education and Human Development and I saw the business options, and business marketing was one of them. So I followed that and I started to like that.