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Posted On: 07/3/18 4:09 PM
Pinnacle rising junior Tosh Baker, a core member of the state champion Pioneers team, sat down with Prep Hoops writer Eric Newman to speak about his work this summer, and how his team is preparing for its title defense.
Newman: You come out to an event like the Southwest All-American Camp, and you’re against some of the best competition in the state. What do you do to shine?
Baker: You really just have to play your best, play your game. Sometimes camps like this can be one-on-one basketball which can be sloppy or rough, but if you focus on hustling and playing well on defense you’ll be fine.
What do you try to gain individually from summer basketball?
I’m just trying to prepare for tournaments coming up, especially the Peach Jam. I play for the Oakland Soldiers in California, and I want to be as good as I can be for when I compete with them.
You play with a lot of your high school teammates over June, but the season doesn’t start until November. How do you keep that chemistry with all the guys after the break?
It’s hard. At Pinnacle we’re all a family, so we try to hang out off the court a lot, which helps with the chemistry. But, everyone’s working on their own game, and if they’re playing hard and getting better it all works.
What’s your goal for high school season this year?
We want to win State again. I’m trying to work on my outside jumper and facing up. I’m really comfortable with my back to the basket as a big, but I want to be more versatile and play more from the perimeter.
How important is that face-up game to success in college?
It’s very important, because you have to be able to score from all spots at the next level, and if I can pop out on pick and rolls it will be very big for recruitment.
What’s your recruitment strategy? Do you have a lot of videos, or are you focused more on playing hard on the court?
It’s about competing as hard as I can every time I’m out there. The other stuff is important, but you have to really show out whenever you’re playing because someone important could always be watching you.