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So Long, Farewell: Joe Toussaint announces transfer

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The junior guard will be able to play two seasons after leading the Hawkeyes in assists

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament First Round-Richmond vs Iowa Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Shortly after Keegan Murray announced is intention to enter the NBA Draft, Joe Toussaint shared his intent to transfer and “pursue an expanded role.”

The junior guard started 41 games for the Hawkeyes throughout his three year, 98 game career in Iowa CIty. This season, he posted a career- & team-high 3.2 assists/game, alongside 4.3 points and 1.4 steals.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to exceed the 17.9 minutes/game he played his freshman year as Jordan Bohannon’s return meant the two would start alongside each other. The plug was pulled on that experiment, with his return to the bench enabling Bohannon to play the position which helped Iowa spark a February run and eventual Big Ten Tournament title.

Toussaint, to his credit, took the change in role with high character and remained a valued contributor throughout the stretch run. His four steals in 10 minutes of Iowa’s win over Purdue were crucial as the Hawkeyes double the Boilermakers’ centers.

Though the guard had his head-scratching moments, evidenced by his team high turnover rate at 24.6%, there were a ton of great ones, including his game-winning jump shot at Virginia at the beginning of this season.

One can hardly fault the junior guard, as his style felt a little at odds with Fran McCaffery’s motion offense in his three years. Despite those struggles, Patrick McCaffery discussed Toussaint’s mindset towards the end of last year, as he dealt with the ups and downs of playing time:

He went through a stretch where he wasn’t necessarily doing all the right things, but he’s really rallied around. He could have easily tanked it in, pouted, he could easily transferred or done whatever— you see a lot of that nowadays. He stayed, kept working, came to every practice every day with an open mindset ready to work. He never let it linger.

Fran had nothing but great things to say about Joe:

We want to thank Joe Toussaint for being an integral part of multiple NCAA Tournament teams and a Big Ten championship team. He brought great effort and character to our program. He will be great wherever he goes, and we wish him the very best moving forward.

After JT’s freshman season, former Maryland guard Anthony Cowen called Toussaint the toughest guard in the conference and in situations where Toussaint was able to get downhill in a high pick and roll, he found a ton of success. Iowa’s 2020 loss to Gonzaga (14 points on 6/11 shooting) and 2021 win versus Michigan State (10 points & 6 assists) stick out as high points.

I know I’ll miss Toussaint’s energy but one can hardly fault him for pursuing a bigger role and better fit, especially if he can get closer to his hometown of the Bronx.