San Francisco Men's Basketball 2014 NIT Tournament Capsule

San Francisco Dons
West Coast (21-11, 13-5)


Yet again San Francisco had to make some drastic roster changes heading into this season. And once again Coach Rex Walters pulled together the new faces and had a great year. The Dons failed to make a big splash in non-conference play and the story was basically the same throughout WCC play. USF lost both games to BYU and Gonzaga and split with Saint Mary’s. This team may not be able to beat the best squads around, but they do not lose to teams they should beat either.

Big Wins: 11/13 Cleveland State (91-82), 1/9 at Pacific (81-72), 2/20 Saint Mary’s (73-62)
Bad Losses: 11/15 Nevada (90-92), 11/18 Idaho State (90-93), 11/30 Illinois State (76-90)
Coach: Rex Walters (6 seasons at San Francisco)

Why They Can Surprise:
The Dons shoot nearly 48 percent from the floor and it can be very demoralizing to watch a team knock down so many shots. Cole Dickerson brings that percentage down when he shoots from long range, but he is a prolific and efficient scorer inside the arc. The 6-7 senior is also the top rebounder and a very polished all-around player. Fellow forward Kruize Pinkins and center Mark Tollefsen are also double-digit scorers who shoot over 50 percent from the floor. Avry Holmes is one of the better pure shooters in the WCC. The sophomore connects on 43.8 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. As a freshman he was just a shooter off of the bench, but now he has developed into a key starter for USF.

Why They Can Disappoint:
For a team with a handful of big men that like to score in the paint, the lack of a shot blocker is a bit of a surprise. Tollefsen and Pinkins average about one blocked per game, while the team as a whole is at just 2.6. The result is often easy buckets for the opposition in the paint. On average the Dons do not commit too many fouls, but against better competition, they often have little choice but to send slashers to the line. In losses against Saint Mary’s, BYU and Gonzaga in late January and early February, the Dons gave up a combined 115 free-throw attempts. It is tough to win a game when the opposition shoots twice as many free-throws; especially for a San Francisco squad that rarely takes advantage of their opportunities at the stripe.

Probable Starters:
Matt Glover, Junior, Guard, 8.0 ppg, 3.3 apg
Avry Holmes, Sophomore, Guard, 12.6 ppg, 3.0 apg
Cole Dickerson, Senior, Forward, 14.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg
Kruize Pinkins, Junior, Forward, 12.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg
Mark Tollefsen, Sophomore, Center, 10.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.0 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Chris Adams, Junior, Guard, 3.9 ppg, 1.0 apg
Tim Derksen, Sophomore, Guard, 8.9 ppg, 1.3 apg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.1 (69th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 71.2 (209, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.7 (25, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.9 (191, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.8 (115, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.1 (67, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 64.9 (322, 10)
Rebound Margin: 3.1 (84, 4)
Assists Per Game: 14.5 (62, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.7 (111, 5)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2012    CBI        First Round loss to Washington State
2011    CIT        First Round win over Idaho
2011    CIT        Second Round win over Hawaii
2011    CIT        Quarterfinal loss to Santa Clara
2005    NIT        Opening round win over Denver
2005    NIT        First Round loss to Cal State Fullerton
1998    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Utah
1982    NCAA    Round of 48 loss to Boston College
1981    NCAA    Round of 48 loss to Kansas State

*all team stats through 3/9


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules