WCC Player Position Rankings: Power Forward


Day two of our 2014-15 Player Position Rankings, and we’re staying in the frontcourt with the power forwards. Most of the big schools are again represented, but the breakout stars of 2013-14 are well represented as the San Francisco Dons continue to dominate our early rankings.


Nov 12, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UC Santa Barbera Gauchos forward Taran Brown (35) pulls down a rebound over UNLV Runnin

Despite having only played 37 minutes in his college career as a transfer from UNLV, Jamal Aytes will be one of the players Dave Rose will look to in order to replace departed LDS missionary Eric Mika in the Cougars frontcourt. Aytes gives BYU a physical presence at the power forward spot and is the polar opposite of the ever lanky Josh Sharp. When Aytes becomes eligible for the December 20th home game versus Stanford, expect him to make an immediate impact offensively and to eventually enter the starting lineup for conference play.

– James Pigott


Mark has been such a consistent player for the Green & Gold since his arrival – it’s so hard to believe he is just a Junior. He has played in all 64 games the Dons have played since his redshirt freshman year. Last year he was the fourth leading scorer for the Dons and will look to score even more after the loss of Cole Dickerson. His size may be deceiving as a tall lankly player but he is often described as the most athletic ballplayer on Rex Walter’s squad.

Tollefsen is a perfect compliment to the Dons front court. Combined with Robertson and Pinkins, Tollefsen will make the Dons bigs effective and dangerous. This will give the Green & Gold the ability to play with the big boys but he will provide the speed to pick up the pace when needed. Scoring will not be an issue for Mark and with the departure of Cole Dickerson, only senior’s Gavin Hoffman and Chris Adams have a longer tenure at USF than Tollefsen. This will be a year where Dons fans see Mark develop into a loud team leader.

– James Stapleton


Jan 18, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Dons forward Kruize Pinkins (15) takes a shot against the San Diego Toreros during the second half at War Memorial Gymnasium. The San Francisco Dons defeated the San Diego Toreros 64-62. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Kruize Control is scheduled for another trip around the WCC this year and he is only looking to pick up speed. Pinkins made himself a WCC honorable mention last year and averaged 12.2 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Additionally, Kruize found his mid range shooting and used it as a weapon on multiple occasions. It may have taken Pinkins a few games in 2013 to become comfortable with the Green & Gold’s offense, but he was taking control of things shortly before the 2013 non-conference schedule ended.

With more protection on the inside with Derrell Roberston in place, Kruize will find himself with an opportunity to evolve in a slightly different type of scorer during the 2014-2015 season. During his JUCO years at Chipola College, Pinkins was a huge shooting threat. Don’t be surprised to see Kruize shooting a three ball a few times during the non-conference games to try to get back into that shooting rhythm.

As a senior, this is Kruize’s last opportunity to show San Francisco’s what he has. With trips back home to Florida for the Gulf Coast Showcase and a second campaign through the WCC Dons fans should expect big things. One thing we know about Kruize is he does not like to disappoint and he is proud of his roots and Dons family.

– James Stapleton


Feb 27, 2013; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the second half at Rupp Arena. Kentucky defeated Mississippi State 85-55. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Playing a pivotal role for the Zags in the 2014-15 season will be former Sixth Man of the Year and National Champion at Kentucky, Kyle Wiltjer. Renowned for his incredible shooting ability, Wiltjer’s presence on the court is going to elevate this Gonzaga team to a new level. His ability to stretch the floor and move defenders out of the paint will allow his relentless three-point shot to continue to rain down on opponents and should lead to beautiful feeds to 7’1″ center, Przemek Karnowski.

During his redshirt season at GU, Wiltjer completely transformed his body, vastly improving his strength and athleticism. We ranked Kyle as the 2nd best power forward in the West Coast Conference, but if he can enhance his defensive presence in the paint to that of his offensive dexterity, he may very well become one of the best big men in college basketball.

– Sam Falcone


Jan 11, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Pepperdine Waves forward Stacy Davis (5) celebrates after making a basket and being fouled during the second half against the San Diego Toreros at Jenny Craig Pavillion. Pepperdine won 69-65. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

There is only one word that appropriate word that describes Pepperdine junior forward Stacy Davis: beast.

Entering his third season at Pepperdine University, Davis is a popular choice to breakout as one of the conference’s star power forwards. In past seasons, the Laveen, Arizona native impressed, but as an upperclassmen many feel it is Davis’ time to shine in Malibu and lead the Waves to greater heights. Davis struggled at points last season, but proved to consistently be the team’s best scoring option and most reliable rebounder. In his short career, Davis has averaged 13.2 points and 7.4 rebounds.

Last year, Davis started 23 of the Waves 31 contests, as Davis was inserted in the sixth-man role to savehimself from getting into early foul trouble. In 2013-2014, Davis showed off a 3-point shot that he did not possess his freshman season; the 6-foot-6 forward shot 44.6 percent from behind the arc on 49 attempts after only shooting two the previous season.

Without Brendan Lane, who graduated the past season, the Waves will need Davis to step up even more. The team possesses a lot of promising, but young players in the frontcourt and Head Coach Marty Wilson will need his team to gravitate around Davis’ experience for growth purposes.

– Josh Horton

Join us tomorrow as we move to the small forwards.