Gonzaga-bound Toohey one of Australia’s most promising prospects
SOME of the biggest news in Australian basketball over the past week has been young gun Alex Toohey committing to the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the NCAA.
The 18-year-old has been one of the most exciting prospects to come out Australia in the past 24 months, emphasised by a selection from the Australian Boomers in February of 2021, before joining the team once again for the FIBA World Cup qualifiers in August.
The Bulldogs are one of the most respected college basketball programs in the United States, and have a knack for making international players better while not sacrificing a winning culture. The likes of Domantas Sabonis, Rui Hachimara and former NBL big Casey Calvary all improved after heading overseas to the Gonzaga program. In fact, last year’s number one in the NBA Draft Chet Holmgren was a Gonzaga product, so there is no questioning the quality of the program.
Toohey is considered one of the most exciting international prospects that have committed to the NCAA as a member of the class of 2023. Having already had some experience at the international level, he has shown a capability to perform at a solid level against the best. In the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, Toohey chimed in for a handy 12 points in 17 minutes, and he suited up for the Boomers again over the weekend, delivering six points and four rebounds in 15 minutes.
A power forward who stands a solid 6’7, Toohey can do a bit of everything and will offer a lot for the Bulldogs at the four. He thrives on the end of physicality, not afraid to initiate contact in a legal manner on both ends of the court. He showed how well-rounded he is as a player at the Australian U20 State Champs last year, leading the tournament in assists despite playing in the frontcourt, while also announcing himself as one of the nation’s best young rebounders.
Another product of the NBA Global Academy, Toohey burst onto the scene after an outstanding performance at the NBA Academy Games in Atlanta, where he led all players in scoring, was ranked second in steals and fifth in rebounding.
Over the past year, Toohey’s shooting has taken massive strides, particularly from behind the arc as he continues to round out his game. If he can become a consistent threat from behind the arc (which looks an achievable target), he will prove one of the toughest matchups in the NCAA, especially given he can play a number of positions at his height.
Toohey is probably Australia’s top forward prospect, and should only improve in a well-renowned Gonzaga system.