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Mathieu likely to claim Gophers’ point guard spot

Nov 2, 2013, 10:00 PM EDT

image AP

If you were looking forward to a backcourt of Hollins & Hollins at Minnesota this season, it’s starting to look unlikely.

According to Amelia Rayno of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 5-foot-9 juco transfer Deandre Mathieu has claimed a starting slot for the Gophers.

Deandre Mathieu should be the Gophers’ starting point guard,” Rayno wrote. “After a single exhibition game and a public scrimmage, I think it’s apparent. With Mathieu in the lineup, the Gophers simply seem faster, more efficient and more dynamic.”

That means 6-foot-2 Andre Hollins can slide over to the off-guard spot and spend a little more time attacking, and 6-foot-4 Austin Hollins can play the wing. The three-guard look fits very well with the aggressive tempo favored by first-year Minnesota head man Richard Pitino.

One area he needs to improve in order to fully claim the job is maintain that intensity. Pitino pointed to Mathieu as the one player he thought looked visibly tired as the game went on. Playing with such vigor and aggressiveness takes a lot of energy. More conditioning will surely be in store.

Minnesota was picked to finish ninth in the Big Ten in the preseason media poll, which would be a lot worse if there actually were ten schools in the league. If the Gophers are to move up, the Mathieu experiment will have to pay big dividends, and quickly.