Rising Senior Matt Christiansen Leaving USF and Basketball Behind


News out of the Hilltop as San Francisco is losing another important member of their basketball program. Forward Matt Christiansen will return to his native Oklahoma to finish his college degree at the University of Oklahoma. Christiansen determined that it was “apparent my heart was not into basketball anymore.” He will finish his college degree as a regular college student at Oklahoma, not as a student athlete.

Dons Head Coach Rex Walter was gracious about Christiansen’s departure. Walter remarked that he is “sorry to see such a great young man leave our program but at the same time support his decision to be closer to home.”

Christiansen, 6’9”, 235 lbs., was a solid presence for USF at the post, flexing to center consistently. He averaged 4.3 points and 3.2 rebounds per game this past season with a 54.2% shooting average. His defensive play was a major boost to the Dons.

Losing both Matt Christiansen and Mark Tollefsen, who will be graduating from USF and using his last year of basketball eligibility at a different school, will leave a gaping hole in the middle for USF.  This will be filled by the remaining members of the USF team and three newcomers to the program, Australian Matthew McCarthy, Dont’e Reynolds and Cedric Wright.

McCarthy is a 6’9”, 221 lb. power forward from Melbourne, Australia who was rated as the 19th best high school player in Australia. He averaged 14.9 points, 10.3 rebounds and shot 49.8% from the field, including 50% from three-point range as a member of the Waverly Falcons U-23 club team. McCarthy was named the MVP of the league’s Grand Finale Championship and 2013 National McDonald’s Classic tournament MVP as a member of the Waverly U-18 club team.

More from West Coast Convo

Dont’e Reynolds is a 6’8”, 215 lb. forward from Kinston, NC currently playing at Odessa College, a two year college in Odessa, Texas that boasts, in typical Texas style, that it is the winningest junior college in America. Odessa College alums include 9 time Pro Rodeo World Champion Cowboy Ty Murray and NBA player Larry Johnson.

Reynolds averaged 7.3 points and 7.7 rebounds per game and led the team in blocked shots. He also adds a 67.7% free throw shooting average which was a weak point for USF during the 2014-15 season. Reynolds will be a junior in the fall at USF.

Cedric Wright is a 6’6 forward graduating from Dillard High School in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.