UK notes: Scoreless recruit hopes ratings don't plummet

No. 4 prospect Tokoto looking for first point

jtipton@herald-leader.comJune 19, 2010 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — J.P. Tokoto came into the Top 100 Camp rated as the fourth-best player in the high school class of 2011, according to the recruiting service. Friday found him perplexed and uneasy. Not scoring in the first three games of a high-profile camp for top prospects can do that to a player.

"I've never dealt with this before," Tokoto said after shooting blanks in Friday's first session. "It's kind of new, and I haven't handled it too well."

Tokoto, a 6-foot-6 wing from Menomonee Falls, Wis., was one of only three players in the camp who had not scored a point. He acknowledged that the scoreless performances weighed heavily on his mind.

"Probably in games I've been thinking of it," he said. "I can't play my game. I'm used to having the ball in my hands and working with it. Here, I'm spotting up and standing."

UK is one of the schools on Tokoto's long list. So, too, are Wisconsin, Marquette, Indiana, Minnesota, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, Florida, Miami, Maryland and Tennessee.

While recruiting analysts could be heard pondering how much to drop Tokoto in their rankings, he voiced confidence that college recruiters will not make too much out of his struggles here.

"They know I do other things than score," he said. "I'm an all-around player. (For recruiters to say) 'Oh, wow, he hasn't been scoring,' I don't think it'll be anything major."

Growth spurt

The Top 100 Camp measured Anthony Davis at 6-8 in his sock feet. He's listed elsewhere at 6-10.

Either way, he's grown as a prospect, literally and figuratively.

As a high school freshman, he stood 6 feet tall. He was 6-2 as a sophomore, then 6-8 (or 6-10) as a junior.

With the growth, Davis has gone from unranked prospect to among the top 10 players in the high school class of 2011, according to

Davis was not sure where he inherited height. His father is 6-3, he said. His mother 5-11. He said he did have a cousin who is 6-8 and a "girl cousin" who is 6-4.

UK, Louisville and Ohio State are among the schools Davis lists. His good friend and fellow Chicagoan Wayne Blackshear has been "pushing me a lot" to join him at U of L, Davis said.

■ Isaiah Austin, a 7-footer from Burleson, Texas, brings NBA pedigree to the Top 100 Camp. An uncle, Ike Austin, played in the NBA for nine seasons. The prospect's father played overseas for 17 seasons.

Austin, who will be a junior next season, lists such schools as UK, Baylor, Texas, Michigan, Arizona, Arizona State, Georgetown, Syracuse, Duke, North Carolina, Alabama and Houston.

With 11 voice-mail messages on his broken cell phone, Austin said he expected more schools to enter his recruiting race.

Besides being long and lean and active, Austin has one other distinguishing feature. He wears goggles when he plays. "I got tired of getting poked in the eye," he said.

No pestering, please

Marshall Plumlee, whose twin brothers Miles and Mason play for Duke, will be a high school senior next season. He saluted how Virginia had been recruiting him.

"They don't pester me," he said of Tony Bennett's staff. "They're very genuine and straightforward, which makes things easy."

Plumlee said that the recruiting process includes a lot of pestering. "You need to have a little better feel for what your recruit's going through," he said.

The pestering takes the form of "frequent calls" and "a lot of mail that's not necessarily helpful," he said.

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