Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats can turn tables on Cal with graduate transfer Tollefsen visiting this weekend


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Mark Tollefsen might decide to play his final season at Arizona in 2015-16 after visiting this weekend (YouTube screen shot)

San Francisco transfer Mark Tollefsen might decide to play his final season at Arizona in 2015-16 after visiting this weekend (YouTube screen shot)

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Arizona’s coaching staff can turn the tables on Cal’s Cuonzo Martin and his staff by luring San Francisco graduate transfer Mark Tollefsen this weekend when the power forward visits Tucson.

Drexel graduate transfer Damion Lee, the No. 1 transfer on the market according to ESPN.com, is also visiting. Tollefsen and Lee have one year of eligibility remaining. They are immediately eligible next season after earning bachelor’s degrees at their respective universities.

Martin, who landed five-star recruit Ivan Rabb on Monday, needs Tollefsen to give his young team experience next season. Miller came up short for Rabb, mostly because the Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O’Dowd standout wanted to remain close to home.

Miller needs Tollefsen (6’9″ and 200 pounds) to shore up his power forward position. As it stands now, Boston College senior transfer Ryan Anderson, who sat out last season, is Miller’s lone power forward with Brandon Ashley turning pro after his junior season.

Tollefsen is lanky at 200 pounds but he is athletic and has a good wingspan that helps with his rebounding and shot-blocking ability.

Lee’s addition would also fill a need on the wing with Rondae Hollis-Jefferson going to the NBA after his sophomore season. Freshman wing player Stanley Johnson is weighing his pro options and is likely to leave as a lottery pick, although he may want to return if he’s forecast to beyond the 10th pick in the draft.

If Johnson joins Hollis-Jefferson in the NBA draft, Arizona’s lone small forward would be freshman Ray Smith, the Las Vegas High School standout who missed last season with a knee injury. Miller could also use freshmen Allonzo Trier and Justin Simon, both of whom are at least 6’5″, when going to a smaller lineup.

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Site founder and award-winning sports journalist Javier Morales has published his first e-book, “The Highest Form of Living”, a fiction piece about a young man who overcomes a troubled upbringing without his lost father and wayward mother through basketball and hope. His hope is realized through the sport he loves. Basketball enables him to get past his fears. His experience on the court indirectly brings him closer to his parents in a unique, heartfelt way. Please order it at Amazon (for only $4.99) by clicking on the photo:
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What should Arizona fans know of Tollefsen? Here’s a brief rundown:

— He was a teammate of former Amphitheather High School guard Tim Derksen in his three years with the Dons.

— He played three years after redshirting as a freshman following his career at San Ramon Valley High School in Danville, Calif.

— He finished his San Francisco career with 1,036 points, which ranks No. 31 on the school’s career list.

— His 54.1 percent field-goal shooting ranks seventh on San Francisco’s career charts.

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— He started his last 70 games with San Francisco dating to the final five games of the 2012-13 season.

— He completed his degree in advertising. He will pursue his fifth year of eligibility at a school that offers a graduate program that is not available at San Francisco.

— Other schools recruiting him other than Cal include San Diego State, Washington, USC, Tennessee and Nevada.

— He was a second-team All-West Coast Conference selection, leading the Dons in scoring (14.0) and finished third in rebounding (5.4). He led the team in blocks with 27. He scored in double-figures in 26 of 32 games, including six 20-point game. He had performances of 22 points at BYU and 21 points against Gonzaga.

— This next video shows Tollefsen’s ability to pass, shoot from the perimeter, leap and wear his socks to his knees like former Arizona player Jason Terry:

ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He has also written articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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