October 1, 2010
Shooting guard set for fourth of five visits
[DB]Andre Hollins[/db]' recruiting is perhaps one of the most interesting sagas in college basketball.
Hollins, a three-star shooting guard from Memphis (White Station), Tenn., had a strong summer on the court, proving to many observers that he could also more than hold his own at point guard.
Hollins' fall has been every bit as eye-opening. Hollins has visited schools in the SEC, Big Ten and the Ivy League in the last month. This weekend, he'll visit another SEC program, this one close to home and with people he's known since he was in the ninth grade.
"It's definitely getting harder," Hollins said. "But that's good. I want to be well-informed when I make my decision. It's going to be the most important decision I've made in my life."
Hollins will spend this weekend at Ole Miss. The Oxford, Miss., campus is about an hour from his home, but that's not the only thing the Rebels have going for them in the race against Auburn, Minnesota, Harvard and Stanford for Hollins' services.
"I have a real cool relationship with (Ole Miss) Coach (Andy) Kennedy and (assistants) Coach (Michael) White and Coach (Torrey) Ward," Hollins said. "They've been recruiting me since I was a ninth-grader. They've been loyal and that's something I really respect. I'm looking to learn more."
Hollins said he talked to Kennedy Thursday evening. Kennedy told Hollins he's arranged for the nation's No. 126 ranked prospect to get some quality face time over the weekend with leaders of Ole Miss' nationally-renowned honors college.
Academics, which are often just given lip service by recruits, are a huge part of Hollins' decision. Hollins will visit Stanford next weekend, and the Cardinal had long been considered the favorite due to the school's impressive academic reputation. Harvard, however, seems to have become a major factor in the battle for Hollins' services, due to the combination of academics and coach Tommy Amaker's sales pitch that Hollins could lead the Crimson to an Ivy League title while playing a role on the floor similar to the one Steph Curry played at Davidson.
Hollins said he and his parents each have a notebook they're using to record impressions and thoughts from each visit.
"We haven't sat down as a family and weighed the pros and cons of each school," Hollins said, insisting he doesn't have a leader or a pecking order yet. "We're going to look back, look at our notes and pray."
Basketball will play a huge role too. Specifically, Hollins believes he has NBA talent and he wants that talent to be showcased, though he said Thursday he believes a player "can go to the NBA from anywhere." Hollins does believe his future is likely at the point and not on the wing, a belief that was solidified this summer.
"I'll have to be a 1," Hollins said. "I think I can be a 6-foot-3 (point guard) like (Utah Jazz star) Deron Williams. On the court, I had a really good summer. I've always been known as a shooter but being able to play (both guard spots) is an added dimension on my game."
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