Williams Watches Tokoto

MILWAUKEE --- Roy Williams has made it clear that J.P. Tokoto is one of his top targets. Furthering that notion on Saturday, Williams was the only head coach front and center for Tokoto's big matchup at the Brandon Jennings Invitational.

After sitting out the first quarter for a minor team issue, Tokoto, a 6-foot-6 wing prospect out of Menomonee Falls (Wisc.) High, strung together a strong outing against a tough Brooklyn (N.Y.) Lincoln squad.

Tokoto finished with 22 points and seven rebounds in just three quarters of action. But it wasn't his point total that stood out. It was his improved mid-range game that caught this writer's eye. He knocked in five jumpers from 15- to 18-feet, as well as a three-pointer.

"I'm trying to extend my range," Tokoto said following the game. "That's definitely what I'm working on and ball handling. Those are the two things that I've been working on."

He also played with more confidence that he did in June and and July, seemingly more comfortable on the floor.

"It's a comfort thing," Tokoto said. "I'm getting used to it. I think I've done a good job with handling the hype and not really listening to it. I'm just going out and playing."

While Tokoto was playing, Williams and Brandon Jennings were chatting it up on the sideline. Tokoto noticed the North Carolina head coach in the crowd.

"Coach Roy [Williams] was out here today," he said. "Besides Coach Bo [Ryan] from Wisconsin I've talked to Coach Roy more than anybody, which has been awesome. I love Coach. He's a great dude. We have a great relationship."

"We just talk all the time," Tokoto added. "We rarely talk about basketball stuff when he calls. We just talk about life."

Tokoto said North Carolina had done a great job recruiting him and he gets a good vibe from not only their coaching staff, but also their players.

"I get there and it's a home feeling," Tokoto said. "It's really great and the history of the program speaks for itself and Coach Roy is an awesome guy."

"I've hung out with the team and they seem like cool dudes and I have family down there," he added. "If I really want to go out of state, that's definitely where I'd look at."

Tokoto said he's close with Marcus Paige, UNC's first verbal commitment for the junior class.

"Marcus is a good friend of mine," he explained. "That's my boy. I was excited when he did that."

Tokoto is planning another visit to UNC in mid-February. He also plans to visit Duke while in North Carolina. The family has yet to set an exact date. He also has intentions of visiting other schools.

"We are talking about going to UCLA and go to Duke, UNC, Wisconsin, Marquette and we've talked about Stanford and Kentucky."

While rumors surfaced on Saturday that Tokoto could make his college choice soon, the talented prospect said he plans to wait until at least after his high school season.

"We've talked about it," Tokoto said. "Most likely before the summer. That's what it's looking like right now, but it could change."

J.P. Tokoto Profile


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