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BYU’s Mark Pope talks Tanner Toolson commitment and what ‘will endear him to Cougar fans’

BYU coach Mark Pope knows his team’s latest addition’s family well, and made a bold prediction how Tanner Toolson will fare, relative to the playing careers of both Andy and Conner Toolson.

BYU men’s basketball coach Mark Pope poses in the Marriott Center in Provo on Thursday, May 23, 2019.
BYU men’s basketball coach Mark Pope said of Tanner Toolson, who signed a national letter to intent to play for the Cougars, “Tanner comes from a great basketball family.”
Steve Griffin, Deseret News

PROVO — Mark Pope and his staff received good news Thursday with the commitment of Tanner Toolson, and on Friday commented about the addition of the 6-foot-5 combo guard.

“We are so excited to have Tanner join our BYU program,” Pope said. “His trajectory over the last two years has been incredible. He’s got a silky-smooth jumper and has a fire, competitiveness and physicality that will endear him to Cougar fans.”

Toolson is a self-described ‘late bloomer’ and received a lot of his recruiting late in the process, finishing off his prep career with Union High School in Washington in impressive fashion. He averaged 23 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3 assists his final year for Union, and was named the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Association’s Mr. Basketball, which honors the state’s top player across all classifications.

Toolson is the son of former BYU player Andy Toolson and is the brother of former Utah Valley player Conner Toolson, whom Pope coached while head coach of the Wolverines.

“Tanner comes from a great basketball family,” Pope said. “His father Andy was a BYU legend and played for the Jazz, and his brother Conner was a junior college national champ and a star at UVU. They both had great moments in the Marriott Center — Andy wowed Cougars faithful for four years and Conner was part of a record-setting performance — and knowing Tanner as we do, he’s going to come in and be the best of the three.”

BYU fans will have to wait to see what Tanner Toolson ultimately provides, as he plans to serve a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prior to enrolling.

Tanner Toolson is the latest addition to BYU’s 2020 recruiting class that also includes Purdue transfer Matt Haarms, junior college transfers Gideon George (New Mexico Junior College) and Spencer Johnson (Salt Lake Community College) and high school seniors Dallin Hall (Fremont High School) and Richie Saunders (Wasatch Academy). Toolson, Hall and Saunders all plan to serve missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before enrolling at BYU.