In his first full season of recruiting for the Stanford Cardinal, Johnny Dawkins and his staff brought in a versatile and athletic class that figures to be the foundation for the future of the program. However, in order to increase the depth and talent throughout the roster, it's vital that the coaching staff makes the most of the limited 2011 scholarships that are available.
While the 2010 class had a clear focus on improving the frontcourt and the depth at the wing position, it appears that the backcourt is the main area being targeted in 2011. One of the main targets to emerge for the Cardinal in 2011 is Andre Hollins, the elite combo guard from Memphis, Tennessee. While Hollins really emerged with his play this summer, he has been on the Stanford radar for a long time.
"Well, they have been involved with me since the 9th grade, because they start recruiting early," the #150 player in the country explained. "Because of the grade requirements, they have been following me since 9th grade. Things really picked up last summer, and they have been with me ever since."
Hollins had the opportunity to see Stanford in person this summer when he and his mother took an unofficial visit while on the West Coast for the Pangos All-American camp.
"I really like the campus, it's really beautiful," the White Station star said. "I actually visited on the day when they had bad weather, it was kind of cold and we had to wear jackets around. The coaches told me it was pretty much the only day of the year that is like that."
It appears that the relationship between Hollins and the Stanford coaching staff is quite strong, as Hollins recently announced that Stanford will be one of the five schools he will officially visit.
"It gives the best of both worlds," Hollins said of his interest in Stanford. "I just really have a good relationship with Coach Dawkins and Coach Schrage. I visited there this summer, and I kind of have a feel for what the school is about, and they will definitely be one of my top choices for where to go."
Playing with Memphis Magic Elite this summer, Hollins continued to demonstrate his ability to score in transition. It's this part of his game that he thinks would make him an excellent fit at Stanford.
"I would be great in their offense. I'm a fast player and I am getting better at running the "1". In Vegas, I ran the "1" pretty well and in Memphis, we get out with the ball and we run. I've been playing in that kind of system my whole life, and I think I would fit in really well."
Having the ability to play both point guard and shooting guard is a huge bonus for Hollins, as his versatility is something that the coaching staff thinks could be of benefit on The Farm.
"They kind of see me as both a "1" and a "2" depending on the situation," Andre revealed to Cardinal Report. "They are going to try and develop me into a "1". I guess it depends on whatever position they think would be best for the team when I get there."
While he has always been on the radar of many top schools across the country, it was his performance this summer that really catapulted Andre into one of the elite prospects in the country. However, this summer actually started off with one of his worst performances.
"I think I played pretty well," Hollins said of his summer performance. "At the beginning of the summer, I had worked really hard on my ball-handling, and then in the first tournament that I played in this summer in Little Rock, I didn't do too well. One game I didn't even score. After that, I just got determined and decided I wouldn't take any more of that. I had to live up expectations and do what I needed to do."
Once he got into his stride over the AAU season, Hollins put together a string of excellent performances. Not surprisingly, Coach Dawkins and the rest of the staff were front and center for each game.
"I saw Coach Dawkins at all of my games in Vegas," Andre said with a laugh. "My last tournament here in Memphis, Coach Schrage and Coach Dawkins flew out here to watch me. I saw Coach Tention here in Memphis for the River City Showdown, which was the tournament before Vegas. I also saw Coach Davey at one of my games in Vegas."
With the AAU season officially over, Andre can now turn his attention to his recruitment process and completing the Stanford application.
"Yes sir, I have received the application. They (the coaching staff) told me to take my time, but they want me to get in as soon as possible. My school starts tomorrow, and when everything gets settled, I'm going to give my teachers and counselor the part they need to fill out."
After receiving the teacher and counselor portion of his application, the Rivals 150 member should have no problem being admitted.
"I scored a 25 on my ACT and I have a 4.5 GPA," Hollins revealed. "But when I took the ACT, I didn't take the writing part. I have to take another ACT on September 11th just to take care of the writing part. I wish I would have just got that part out of the way earlier."
Now that he has official visit dates all lined up, it's time for Andre to turn his focus towards evaluating each school and ultimately making his decision.
"I'm going out to Stanford the weekend of October 15th-17th. I'm planning on making my decision before the season starts. The season starts in November, so we are kind of planning on like mid-to-late November."