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Toolson DNA alive and well on this BYU basketball team

Former BYU star and Jazz player Andy Toolson takes a look at the Toolson line after Jake Toolson finishes his regular season as a Cougar with a remarkable run.

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BYU guard Jake Toolson (5) drives past Pepperdine guard Sedrick Altman (0) during an NCAA college basketball game between Pepperdine and BYU Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, in Malibu, Calif.

Ringo H.W. Chiu, AP

PROVO — Pepperdine may have taken arrow shooter Jake Toolson off his game, but Mark Pope fired up single-covered Yoeli Childs to crush the Waves 81-64 to close the regular season Saturday.

Put the vice on Toolson? Childs simply delivered a career-high 38 points and 14 boards. In the last meeting, Toolson led a 17 3-point team barrage against Pepperdine. Well, it wasn’t needed Saturday in Malibu, California.

Officials tossed Toolson late in BYU’s win over the Waves for running off the bench when Alex Barcello got knocked into Zuma Beach on a breakaway lay-in attempt. Toolson’s rush to help Barcello is an NCAA no-no.

Still, Toolson’s return to BYU was remarkable for the nation’s best 3-point-shooting team. He had only 11 points Saturday but Pepperdine’s defense had to give Childs a feast to do it.

Pepperdine did everything to try and stop BYU’s outside attack all afternoon, so the Cougars simply turned to Childs, Zac Seljaas and TJ Haws (13 assists) to secure the WCC’s No. 2 seed and win going away.

The Toolson DNA? It’s a thing.

“He has a great shot, always has.” — former BYU great/NBA sharpshooter Andy Toolson on the Cougars’ Jake Toolson

His final year at Utah Valley in 2019 he was a 180 man. That means the total of his field goal, 3-point field goal and free-throw percentages is 180 or above. He shot 44.8% from 3-point land, 53% from the field and 85% from the line for a 182.

His senior year at BYU heading into the Pepperdine game, he was .474 from the field, .462 from 3-point territory and .792 from the line for a 172.8. But this year, he played a tougher preseason schedule in a tougher league with longer travel.

Also, this year the NCAA moved the 3-point line back from 20 feet, 9 inches to 22 feet, 1 3/4 inches. Toolson’s 3-point shooting percentage ticked up from a high in 2019 of 44.8 to this year’s 47.1, after he hit 3 of 3 against the Waves. That is nuts.  

The Toolson clan has churned out plenty of players off the assembly line.

Jake Toolson’s father Troy is first cousin to former Cougar sharpshooter Andy Toolson.

Here’s a look at that Toolson line through Andy, who was gracious enough to chime in on Friday about Jake — “He has a great shot, always has.”

Andy’s oldest son Conner helped lead Salt Lake Community College to an NJCAA national championship before finishing his career at Utah Valley. As a Wolverine, the 6-foot-4 Conner averaged 12.4 points and 3.6 rebounds in 92 games as a starter, averaging 30 minutes a game. He was the 73rd overall pick of the Salt Lake City Stars of the NBA’s G-League draft this past fall.

Andy’s younger son Tanner, a senior at Union High in Vancouver, Washington, was just named Mr. Basketball in the state of Washington after leading his team to a 24-0 record. While BYU was playing in Malibu, Tanner helped lead Union to a 66-64 win over Gonzaga Prep in the first round of the state championship tournament. As the No. 1 seed, Tanner has averaged 23.1 points a game this season for Union.

“Tanner is a lot more athletic than I ever was,” said Andy. “He was offered by Utah Valley this past summer and has been kind of under the radar as far as recruiting until January, but now he’s receiving more attention.”

Andy, now 54, has lived in Vancouver the past four years working for an investment firm that bought a liquidation grocery business with four locations.

Before Andy Toolson finished his BYU career playing for Roger Reid, he joined Marty Haws in an NCAA Tournament run that ended against Clemson where the Cougars had an eight-point lead with three minutes to play. Toolson went on to play for the Utah Jazz.

Jake Toolson, who has been on fire for the Cougars as a shooter and leader, is the nephew of former Cougar Danny Ainge, NCAA Player of the Year and current general manager and president of basketball operations of the Boston Celtics. Ainge had a front-row seat at last Saturday’s BYU win over Gonzaga in the Marriott Center.

Andy’s son Conner played high school ball with TJ Haws at Lone Peak, and Andy sees the latest Haws as a tremendous player and elite passer. He keeps in touch with his father Marty and sees former Cougar Jeff Chatman, who lives in the Seattle area.

“I have a satellite radio in my car and listen to as many games as I can when traveling. I watch Tanner’s games as well as my other son Drew’s, a seventh-grader,” he said.

Are bloodlines important?

Ask Ainge, who back in his college All-America days in Provo met and married a coed named Michelle Toolson. 

As for Ainge, his son Austin was a starter for the Cougars and is now director of player personnel for the Celtics. Another son, Tanner, is currently a Utah County commissioner and attorney, and his youngest son, Crew, transferred from Utah State after averaging 12.8 points a game in 2018, to Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, near his parents. At Babson, Crew averaged 11.7 points a game in 2019.

DNA? It is a real thing.