USF quietly announced Mark Tollefsen’s departure from the program after he graduates from USF. He will use his remaining year of basketball eligibility to play at a different, as yet to be determined school where he will do graduate work of some sort. Tollefsen’s degree from USF is in advertising. As a grad student, he will be eligible to play immediately for his new school.
Tollefsen was a redshirt in the 2011-2012 season and ended the 2014-2015 season with an average 14.0 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game. He was named to the All-WCC Second Team. He is a very talented, multi-dimensional forward. He will graduate with Kruize Pinkins and Matt Glover with whom he has shared the past four years.
Coach Rex Walters said “we want to wish Mark nothing but the best and appreciate his efforts over the last four years.”
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The unexpected loss of Tollefsen for next year, together with the expected losses of fellow bigs Pinkins and Glover will have a major impact on the program until new players emerge to fill the shoes of these three players. Guards Corey Hilliard, Chris Adams and Gavin Hoffman are also graduating, so the loss of six seasoned and experienced players to graduation will change the the makeup of the team and Division 1 experience of the squad. Graduations are always part of the future planning for a program, but losing a player like Tollefsen will remove one of the major anchors for next year’s team. The Dons will return point guard Devin Watson, who will direct some combination of remaining front line players that include centers Matt Christiansen, Derrell Robertson, and forwards Montray Clemons, Uche Ofoegbu and Nick Loew.
Fortunately, USF been effective on the recruiting trail and has some prime junior college transfers waiting in the wings and ready to commit to playing at USF. The next few months will allow us to preview any new faces that will wear the Dons jersey.