Toolson feeling no pressure

As the calendar turns to the month of July, basketball recruits all across the nation are full of anticipation, as they prepare to showcase their skills in various tournaments in front of college coaches. Jake Toolson knows that the July evaluation period should net him additional scholarship offers, but claims that his performance won't be necessarily be geared towards that goal.

"I'm not looking to prove myself out there," Toolson said. "I just want to get better and help my team win. I'm not going to put pressure on myself saying that I have to play well so I can get more offers. I'm not someone that is going to count my offers and brag to some people about them.

"I'm just going out there to play the game that I love."

The local 2014 Gilbert (Ariz.) High School forward has been offered by Arizona State a few weeks back, and while he knew that this offer was forthcoming his way he was still was very pleased to receive the news from his hometown team.

"I grew up following ASU basketball and I like the direction that they are headed in," Toolson said. "I really liked watching players like James Harden, Ty Abbott, Jeff Pendergraph and Derek Glasser and see them develop there at ASU. I want to develop my game so I can play at that level in college. Playing close to home is something that would be nice and will play a factor come decision time. But I'm open to playing wherever."

The 6-5 205-pound Jake Toolson reported sophomore season averages of 19.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg, and shooting 40 percent from three-point range.

"I'm a versatile player that can handle the ball," Toolson described, "I can pull up for a jump shot from any place on the court – once I cross half court you will have to guard me. I can play at the rim, distribute to my teammates…I'm just out there to do anything to get the win for my team. I want to be a more well-rounded player, and especially improve my defense.

"The ASU coaches said that I can shoot the ball well, and that I play smart. I love the coaching staff and I have a good relationship with them and I look forward to building it even more. I already been a campus three, four times and I will definitely visit them again later this year. They said they said that I am the type of kid that they want to recruit - a local player who wants to play for ASU."

The forward is part of an extremely talented local 2014 class and Toolson commented that he has being keeping in contact with some players from that group. Playing for the hometown school has certainly been one of the topics of conversation among the in-state players who have already been offered by the Sun Devils.

"I play on the Arizona Select them which is the same club team as Payton Dastrup and we talk all the time," Toolson said. "I also talk to Casey Benson and Zylan Cheatham, and we all talk about possibly staying at home and playing together."

UC Davis, Boston College and Utah State are the other schools who have offered Toolson. Michigan State, Oregon State, BYU, Utah, and St. Mary's have kept in close contact with the forward and in the next few weeks could join the list of programs to offer the Gilbert standout.

As a 2014 prospect Toolson is in no hurry to render his decision and doesn't know yet whether he will announce the pledge to the school of his choice this year or wait until closer to his senior year.

"It doesn't really matter how early you commit," Toolson explained. "You announce when you feel like you built a strong relationship with coaches and you feel that one school is a better fit than the rest and is the best place for you.

"Academics are definitely one thing I'm going to look at, style of play, and what other players will be coming with me to that school."

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