After spending three years playing at San Francisco and earning his Bachelors Degree, Mark Tollefsen leaves his mark on the program as a versatile big man, great on defense, exciting to watch at the rim and a dependable scorer. He will use his remaining year of basketball eligibility to join the Arizona Wildcats for the 2015-2016 season moving up to the Pac-12 conference which will allow him to gain visibility on a national stage. Under graduate transfer rules, he will enroll as a grad student and be eligible to play immediately. Tollefsen used his one redshirt season previously his freshman year with the Dons.
The Danville, California native earned a spot on the All-WCC Second Team for the 2014-15 season. He ranked 10th in the conference with his scoring average of 14 points per game. He was 15th in rebounding pulling down 5.4 per game, and he shot 53.5 percent from the field ranking 5th in the WCC in that category. He was also ranked 9th in the conference in blocked shots.
His personal stats for the 2014-15 season are equally impressive. Out of a total of 32 games, Tollefsen had six 20 point games. He was either the high scorer in the game or shared the honors with a teammate in 11 games, and led the team in rebounding in 9 games. He packed a scoring punch against tough and easy WCC rivals alike: 21 points against Gonzaga in the WCC Tournament Quarterfinals, 22 points against BYU in a regular season game, 21 points against Loyola Marymount, and 24 points against Pacific. He had 27 steals, ranking 4th on the team in that category behind Senior Matt Glover, Junior Tim Derksen and Freshman Devin Watson.
As a sophomore in 2013-14, he ranked 8th in the WCC with a 53.2 percent field goal percentage and 9th in blocked shots. He ranked 2nd on the team for field goal percentage and led the team in blocked shots. He averaged 10.3 points per game, fourth 4th best on the team. His game-high for the season was 22 points, and he achieved his first career double-double during the season.
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His redshirt freshman year in 2012-13 was noteworthy as well, as he played in all 33 games during the season. finishing the season with a 75% free throw average and leading the team with his 56.7% field goal shooting percentage.
Known for his head turning dunks, his former teammate Matt Christiansen says to look for Mark in the 2016 NCAA Slam Dunk contest because “it would not surprise him a bit” if Tollefsen “won it.”
Mark’s earliest sports memory is his preschool basketball shoot around, and he is a Michael Jordan fan. His favorite guilty pleasure is his Justin Bieber toothbrush which all of his USF and WCC fans hope he will continue to use regularly when his broad smile of satisfaction after a great shot or dunk is visible during nationally televised Arizona games. While USF and the WCC will miss this talented player, Mark can expect lots of cheering for him during his final year of college basketball and wherever his post-college basketball career takes him.