December 14, 2014

Toles comes out strong

Kevin McCarthy

6-foot-4 Eric Toles, out of Cosumnes Oaks High, comes into the season as the No. 10 prospect in 2015 and the No. 3 shooting guard per the latest NorCal Preps rankings. So out of the proverbial chute, he scores a solid 15 points in the first game for the Wolfpack, upped it to 20 in the second and then skyrocketed to 30 points in the third contest. Now nobody expects this exponential scoring rate to continue but it's confirmation that the 2015 talent is going to be a hot recruiting commodity.

photo of Eric Toles

This output isn't unexpected. “I work really hard on a lot of training with Guss Armstead,” Toles explained. “I train on dribbling and shooting at game speed. Seeing my friends go DI makes me work even harder.”

“I feel like I score really well, rebound, and I'm a lockdown defender.” are what he details as the strongest elements to his game.

Toles continued, “I'm a leader on the court. It's something that comes naturally. Back in the fourth grade, my coaches told me to lead so I did. I can be a funny guy off the court, but I'm about my business.”

He cites two individuals the biggest basketball influences for Toles. “My Dad is my biggest influence because he pushes me to be the best. I remember seeing him play when I was younger -- he was a baller back then -- and played at Valley High. Also, Jason Jennings, my AAU coach” who Toles credits for providing solid advice.

Although a likely two and/or three at the next level, Toles is positioned around the court with Cosumnes Oaks. “In high school, I play all positions because we have a young team still learning their roles.”

The recent three-game tournament up in McKinleyville was one of the better moments for Toles on the court. “I had to sit out the second quarter because of two quick fouls, then I got back in the third period. The ball was just going through the hoop, everything was clicking. The game felt like it was in slow motion.” That was the contest with his 30-point output, a 71-70 loss to Heritage High.

Also a pass catcher in football, Toles began there in the eighth grade. “The coaches liked my height and hands so they played me at wide receiver. But I like basketball better. Football helps me with strength and conditioning. I can use my aggressiveness with both.”

Having an interest in both engineering and communications at the next level and an affinity for math, Toles is ultimately wide open as to his next geographic destination. “I'd prefer to stay on the West Coast but it's all about best fit regardless of location.”