Iowa transfer Joe Toussaint finds a new home in the Big 12 Conference

Chad Leistikow
Hawk Central

After spending three years in and out of the Iowa basketball starting lineup and winning a Big Ten Conference championship, Joe Toussaint will try his hand in the Big 12.

Less than two weeks after entering the NCAA transfer portal, the fast-paced point guard from Bronx, New York, is heading closer to home. Toussaint on Monday announced that he will play next season for West Virginia.

West Virginia is known for its turnover-creating, pressure defense under longtime coach Bob Huggins. That was a role Toussaint embraced during his career at Iowa. The Mountaineers were a No. 3 seed in the 2021 NCAA Tournament but are coming off a sluggish 16-17 season in which they were 4-14 in Big 12 play. So there likely will be some opportunity for Toussaint (6-foot, 190 pounds) to step in and play right away.

Joe Toussaint's stats with the Hawkeyes

Toussaint started 41 times in his 98-game Hawkeye career, including 20 times as a true freshman — mostly after then-point guard Jordan Bohannon had hip surgery after 10 games of that 2019-20 season. That was his most productive season at Iowa, as he averaged a career-high 6.5 points per game. Toussaint played exclusively off the bench as a sophomore but started 21 times this past season. However, he was resigned to the bench in Iowa’s final 15 contests after a lineup change that inserted Tony Perkins into the starting five.

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Still, Toussaint was a valuable piece for coach Fran McCaffery. Toussaint led the 26-10 Hawkeyes with 114 assists and 51 steals despite averaging just 17.4 minutes a game. It was that last stat that Toussaint wanted to see increase next season, which is why he pursued the NCAA portal.

Joe Toussaint seemingly have 100% energy each time he took the floor in 98 career games for the Hawkeyes. He is now headed to West Virginia.

With Iowa bringing in highly regarded freshman Dasonte Bowen and returning junior Ahron Ulis into the fold next year at point guard, Toussaint would not have been guaranteed minutes in the 25-30 range per game. At West Virginia, he surely hopes for something in that range or more. Toussaint would have up to two years of college eligibility remaining if he chooses to use the extra “COVID” year afforded by the NCAA for those who played in the 2020-21 season impacted by the global pandemic.

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Toussaint averaged 4.3 points and 3.2 assists per game last season for the Hawkeyes and was an excellent free throw shooter (83.9%). His shot with 8 seconds remaining helped the Hawkeyes snag a 75-74 early-season win at Virginia. He had four points and four steals in just 10 minutes of action in the Hawkeyes’ 75-66 win against Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament championship game. 

Best-case scenario: Toussaint has a strong finish to his college career in Morgantown, and the Hawkeyes thrive under a Bowen/Ulis combination at the point in 2022-23.