Weight: 202 pounds
2014–15 stats: 12.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 47% FG, 40% 3FG
Key quote: “Tim is definitely one of our most consistent workers. Stays late, gets here early, always gives great effort on the court. He’s very much a self-made player. There’s a reason he’s our third-leading scorer, and a big-time argument that he’s our most valuable player. It’s because of his mindset, and his work ethic, how hard he goes every single day.” ~USF coach Rex Walters, last March
Tim Derksen has started 66 games in his USF career, but it was his acceptance of a sixth-man role in his sophomore season that hints at what will make him an all-time great for Rex Walters’s program. That selflessness was key for a ‘13–14 Dons team that finished with 21 wins and earned an NIT bid.
Few guards in the country pack as much grit into their game as Derksen. He’s a standout shooter, with a compact lefty stroke, but he continually manages to fill up stat sheets. And you won’t meet a player more inclined to step up and take a charge, either.
Last night, in an exhibition win over San Francisco State, Derksen posted 15 points and 11 rebounds—his second straight double-double, after the 21 and 10 he posted in USF’s loss to Gonzaga in the WCC tournament quarterfinals, last March. He won’t be happy with the 5-of-12 he shot from the line against SF State, or his six turnovers, but you can bet that will remedied, quickly. In 935 minutes last season, Derksen committed just 45 turnovers.
“We got kicked, but we kept fighting,” Walters had said of this past season. “This team kept working. We were really close this year. I just think of how lucky I am. Now, we get better.”
Derksen will be counted upon to help marshal 10 newcomers to this USF team. Good odds he’ll do just that. And never sleep on the Dons: Walters has an uncanny ability to get his team in a position to make noise, come March.