Sunday, April 27, 2014

Toth will be riding with the Mustangs

In just the last few years, 6-foot-1 sharpshooter Kyle Toth has morphed from a Monarch into a Black Knight and then became an Owl. Now his latest transformation will have him as a Mustang, of Cal Poly vintage, as he has signed on with Coach Joe Callero's Big West Conference team.

After attending the United States Military Academy Prep School in 2001-12, the former Archbishop Mitty guard then played one year at Army and what a season that was as the Black Knights finished above .500 -- 16-15 -- for the first time in close to 30 years.

At West Point, Toth started 25 games and averaged 25 minutes plus 8.2 points per contest, powered by 37% shooting from long distance. Close to two thirds of his made baskets were treys and he was honored as a Patriot League All Rookie Team selection.

But the siren call of family was irresistible and Toth returned home, enrolling at Foothill College for his sophomore season. There he averaged 15.0 points per game for the Owls, shooting 44%, 41% and 88% respectively, plus 3.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists an outing for Coach Matt Stanley. Foothill completed the season 15-13 overall, 7-5 in the Coast-North Conference.

He selected Foothill last year because "it's one of the better academic JUCOs in the area and a lot of  players I know go there."

So why the Mustang mania?

"I watched them (Cal Poly) practice at Stanford and it looked like a good fit for me. Plus, Coach Callero and [Associate Head] Coach Paul Fortier are good guys."

Continuing on, he said, "my criteria were playing DI basketball and attending a good school. Cal Poly has the academics and a good track record."

He is measuring majoring either in economics or business administration.

Asked what he'll bring to the Cal Poly team, Toth modestly replied, "defensive effort, focus and working hard all the time in practice and games."

He noted his best basketball skills as "my shooting ability" along with "finding my role on the team and playing it to the best of my ability. I'm a complementary player."

As to his biggest basketball influence, Toth said, "By far, my older brother (who played at UC Davis). He's four years older and toughened me up, teaching me to be physical. In hindsight, it was a blessing."

His best basketball moment came as a junior in a matchup with Fairfield High as the Monarchs won 43-41 in the state tournament. "It was at home in front of our fans and I hit the game-winning shot."

Cal Poly won the Big West Conference tournament this year, advancing to the Big Dance. Toth wants to be part of the group that hopefully will replicate that magic.

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