There have been many developments in the past few weeks at the Hilltop. With just over a week until tip-off, the Green & Gold are going through their typical preseason routines and getting prepped for the regular season to start. Most of these events are difficult to write about individually, so I figured I would present one article to sum them all up. Here is a breakdown:
October 19th, 2013
This was the second annual Hilltop HoopSFest at War Memorial Gym. 2013 festivities included player introductions, a “round-the-world” competition, a three-point contest, a dunk contest, a dance-off, and a men’s scrimmage. The highlights of the night were the dunk contest and the player scrimmage. Mark Tollefsen stole the show with his dunking ability and fans received their first look of Penn State transfer Matt Glover.
Notable developments from the HoopSFest include the growth of certain players and the overall athleticism of Matt Glover and Mark Tollefsen. Many players grew significantly during the off-season, including most notably, Tao Xu and Matt Christiansen. These players look bigger and can hopefully translate that strength to offensive and defensive production on the court. On the other end of the spectrum, Mark Tollefsen definitely lost weight. He was slender last year, but looks tiny this year. Even though he may have lost a few pounds, he still has athleticism to still make plays and be a key player for the Dons.
During the scrimmage, Avry Holmes looked wonderful running around the court. He simply has speed that was not seen during his freshman campaign. I look forward to Avry having a stronger impact in the Dons rotation. Not to be out shined, Matt Glover also made his presence known in the scrimmage and put on a show. Last but not least, Mark Tollefsen capped off the night with some impressive dunks and an alley-oop during the scrimmage. Tollefsen took the Dunk Contest champion honors.
Cole Dickerson did not attend the event.
WCC MEDIA DAY
October 24th, 2013
The West Coast Conference hosted its second annual Basketball Tip-Off event. This also let the WCC’s new online programming, the W.tv, a chance to shine. Most of USF’s staff and athletes were delayed in San Francisco International airport, missing the WCC’s event. Rex Walters was able to attend the event because he was recruiting in Southern California the day before.
During Rex’s interview, coach emphasized an importance of improving USF’s rebounding and defense. The Dons were eighth in the WCC in rebounding last year even though Cole Dickerson led the WCC in rebounds per game. Rex believes that the addition of Kruize Pinkins will assist Tollefsen and Dickerson on the boards and get the Dons closer to their rebounding goal. Walters also identified Matt Glover or Mark Tollefsen as key players behind veteran players Cody Doolin and Cole Dickerson.
After the interview, Rex took to the Twitter-verse and answered some fan questions. Overall, this was a great event and a success for the W.tv. To watch the entire WCC Tip-Off event, visit the West Coast Conference page.
MUNI DISPLAY BOARDS
San Francisco’s very own municipal transit system has started to express their excitement for the 2013-2014 season. Many buses in San Francisco have donned a “Go Dons” message on the front of public transportation vehicles.
— James Stapleton (@jastape) October 15, 2013
These display signs have been months in the making and have finally made their debut on the streets of San Francisco. Combined efforts from USF alumni and USF’s athletics department made this dream a possibility.
Fans should look for the “Go Dons” message board on any MUNI bus that travels near a USF campus.
One for the Road
If you haven’t seen this yet, take some time to watch Mark Tollefsen run away with his second straight USF dunk contest during the 2013 Hilltop HoopSFest.