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Arizona basketball: Mark Tollefsen signs with Maccabi Rishon LeZion

He was an undervalued player at Arizona

Washington v Arizona Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

Former Arizona Wildcats forward Mark Tollefsen has signed with Maccabi Rishon LeZion of the Israeli Basketball Premier League, it was announced Saturday.

Tollefsen, 24, played for BC Kalev-Cramo in Estonia last season where he averaged 11.1 points and 4.4 rebounds, while shooting 51.6 percent from the field and 41 percent from 3.

The terms of Tollefsen’s contract with Maccabi Rishon LeZion were not disclosed.

Tollefsen spent one season in Tucson, joining Arizona as a graduate transfer from San Francisco for the 2015-16 season.

The Wildcats had a disappointing season that year, finishing 25-9 overall and 12-6 in the Pac-12, plus a first round exit in the NCAA Tournament, but Tollefsen was an unsung hero.

He was the team’s leader in offensive rating — the number of points produced per 100 possessions — and had a gaudy true shooting percentage of 61.2, effectively scoring at the rim and from the perimeter.

He also led the Wildcats in box plus/minus, an estimate of the number of points a player produced above a league-average player.

On a per-game basis, Tollefsen averaged 7.0 points and 3.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 51.4 percent from the field and 35.6 percent from 3.

People may remember Tollefsen for missing a potential game-winning free throw late in a Pac-12 Tournament loss to Oregon, but they also may forget that he made the steal to put the Wildcats in that position to begin with.

Either way, he was an underrated player during his time in Tucson, and had a successful first year as a pro.

We’ll see if he can continue that in Israel.


Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire