The recently held Menomonee Falls at Tosa East game featured two highly recruited players in the state. Falls’ Jean-Pierre Tokoto, the primo uomo of the 2012 class, is a stud for his size. At 6-foot-7 inches (with room to grow), Tokoto is a one-man show.
Tokoto was a sought after recruit before he arrived at Falls. There was a buzz about him during his first year. Word got out about his ability to jump out of the gym, slashing to the rim and throwing down high-flying dunks.
I saw Tokoto for the first time in the sectional final game against Germantown in 2009. He had a bad game that day, only scoring five points and losing by five. Tokoto made up for it last year by scoring 23 in their sectional final game against Arrowhead, but he rotated too late on defense on an Arrowhead player who drove down the middle to score and break a tied game with less than two minutes left. The Indians lost by two points, denying them another trip to state.
Since I haven’t seen Tokoto in a while, I wanted to check up on his game. After all, how many high school players in Wisconsin have Bo Ryan, Roy and Buzz Williams and Bill Self attending his games?
To me, he was trying to showboat in front of a packed house at Tosa East, but the leaping ability is there. The free throws and making outside shots are areas on which Tokoto will have to improve.
There may be increased pressure for Tokoto to take over games because he doesn’t have the same supporting cast this year that he had last year.
Tokoto has narrowed his list down to eight schools. Here’s my assessment of where he might fit in with these schools:
Wisconsin is too slow of a system for Tokoto and he would be impatient. Imagine waiting 25 seconds to take a shot on offense in Ryan’s system. That wouldn’t work. At Marquette, he couldn’t handle the preseason conditioning boot camp and Buzz Williams challenging him every day to be a better player.
Kentucky will get him ready for the NBA in four years. At Kansas, the McDonald’s All-Americans they get on a regular basis will dwarf any of Tokoto’s accomplishments in high school.
Roy Williams will play Tokoto in his freshman year at Carolina. Gary Williams is old school and has no tolerance for primo uomos at Maryland.
If Tokoto goes to UCLA, he might stay out there and forget about the Wisconsin winters. UConn? Forgetaboutit. Tokoto may be stuck on the bench behind some more McDonald’s All-Americans.
I like Tokoto as a player, but he lacks some fundamentals. He should grab a rebound with two hands instead of snatching or cuffing the ball with one hand. Sometimes he dribbles the ball in front of the defender, which can be stripped for a turnover. He’s prone to foul trouble when he’s going over the back for a rebound. Those things have to be corrected now or his college coach will do it for him.