Hands committed to the Bruins as a five-star recruit. As a freshman, he split time as a starter and a reserve. The team already had Aaron Holiday, but Hands started the first five games before injuring his ankle. Upon his return, the 6-3 guard moved to the bench. He had a stellar game in December with 23 points and nine rebounds in a win over Detroit. In 25.2 minutes per game, Hands averaged 9.9 points and 4.0 rebounds as a freshman. He moved into a prime role as a sophomore and provided 14.2 points and a conference-leading 6.1 assists. He had five double-doubles, including 22 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Stanford in the Pac-12 tournament. He scored 20 points or more in six of his final 10 games, but the Bruins did not play in a postseason tournament. Following the season, Hands declared for the draft and hired an agent.