Kunen named to breakout list

Caitlin Ryan

Contributing Writer

Dons forward Josh Kunen attempting a jumpshot.  PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRIS M. LEUNG/DONS ATHLETICS

With a new season tipping off next week, the college basketball world is abuzz predicting which players will have a breakout season. CBS College Basketball Insider Jon Rothstein released his list of “20 under-the-radar breakout players for the 20-21 season” in his latest article published for College Hoops Today, and USF sophomore forward Josh Kunen made the cut. Kunen was included on the list of players to keep an eye on following an impressive freshman season. 

The 6-foot-8 Australian began his college basketball career playing in all 34 games of the 2019-20 season with 24 starts. Kunen’s 34 games played is tied for eighth-most in USF single-season history. 

USF went 16-8 with Kunen in the starting lineup. He finished his freshman year with a modest 4.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kunen’s 5.5 rebounds per game made him second on the team, as was his season total of 187 rebounds. Kunen finished the season top-ten in the West Coast Conference (WCC) both as an offensive rebounder and in total rebounds per game leader. 

Kunen’s season highlights included scoring a career-high of 16 points against the University of California, Davis Aggies on Dec. 21, 2019. He also earned two double-doubles, the most notable being against the Santa Clara Broncos. Kunen scored 13 points while pulling down 12 rebounds, a stat which marked another season-high. 

Kunen finished his season shooting 47.1% from the field and 34.6 percent from beyond the arc, an improvement from where he began the year, going 0-7 from the 3-point line. He also finished the season with 35 assists, 13 steals, and 8 blocks. 

In his article, Rothstein said, “The Dons are an emerging program in the WCC and if that is going to continue then Todd Golden needs mileage out of Kunen.” He continued, saying, “The pressure is on for Kunen, as he is expected to be a frontcourt starter for San Francisco this season.” 

The Dons will begin their season Nov. 25 with the Golden Window Classic, a non-conference, multiple-team event scheduled to be played in Lincoln, Nebraska. Conference play begins Dec. 31 when the Dons host the University of San Diego Toreros at War Memorial Gym at the Sobrato Center.

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