There are few things as graceful as a Ryan Toolson jump shot. Perfect form. Perfect release. Perfect result. Whether he’s wide open, in traffic or eluding defenders–who routinely grab and bump him to gain any possible advantage–Toolson believes his shot will rip through the net. And most of the time it does.
On Jan. 29 the Wolverines took on Chicago State in the ‘Windy City.’ A routine game turned special when Toolson turned the game into his own personal shoot-around. The stars aligned for the senior shooting guard and he turned in a ridiculous 63-point outing to lead his team to a 123-121 four-overtime victory.
Utah Valley, in its first year as a university and in close proximity to two locally-supported athletic programs in Brigham Young and University of Utah, has become a breeding ground for sensational basketball talent. In the wake of Toolson’s performance, proverbial college basketball commentator and analyst Dick Vitale named him as the National Player of the Week. The Wolverine was also named Great West Conference Player of the Week for the fourth time this season.
The unfortunate thing is that Toolson’s scoring outburst won’t go down in the NCAA record books because the Wolverines are in the final year of provisional status. Nevertheless, his smooth stroke should have every basketball scout in the NBA and overseas taking notice.
Toolson has helped put Utah Valley on the map and has garnered respect to an otherwise average basketball team. The impressive thing is that every time the Wolverines take the court the opposing teams number-one concern is to stop Toolson. The entire defensive game plan revolves around the Wolverine superstar and yet he still takes control of the game.
What Toolson has done in a Wolverine uniform has been very impressive and the chance to witness his greatness is becoming limited. Utah Valley welcomes Chicago State to the McKay Center on Feb. 24 in a rematch of the four-overtime thriller, and after the last matchup, there’s no telling what might happen.