Joe Toussaint spent three years at Iowa but wanted a different role.
The New York point guard was primarily relied on for his defense and ability to pass the ball during his time with the Hawkeyes and the numbers reflect that.
Toussaint averaged just 3.7 and 4.3 points per game over each of his final two seasons with Iowa but wanted the opportunity for more. So a change of scenery was necessary.
Over those last two seasons, Toussaint only hit double digits four total times. It’s not that scoring the ball was his biggest priority, but there was a desire to have more opportunities.
So after entering the transfer portal, Toussaint was searching for a place that was going to allow him to expand his game and provide chances to score the ball.
“I also knew I can score the ball. My gym is my happy place – morning, night no matter what time I’m always in the gym,” he said. “I knew I could score the ball and put the ball in the basket.”
West Virginia was searching for veteran experience at guard that could do exactly what Toussaint could provide. While his role was limited in that department at Iowa, the Mountaineers knew that Toussaint was a big-time scorer in high school and could provide a spark in the back court on offense.
When you consider what he also brought as a facilitator and on the defensive end, it was an easy choice to take his commitment after he entered the portal and visited campus. Despite a long list of other schools interested, Toussaint felt he was an ideal fit for what the Mountaineers wanted to do.
The senior guard felt his style of play is a perfect mesh for what Huggins wants out of his guards on both ends of the floor.
Yes, he is a polished defender at the power five level but the opportunity to play off ball-screens, down screens and in the motion offense was highly attractive as well.
He also liked the idea of being able to play more free when it comes to his offense.
The decision has paid off as Toussaint is averaging a career best 9.8 points per contest, while shooting a career-best from beyond the three-point line. He’s still maintained his level of consistency when it comes to passing the basketball as well and is a weapon on the defensive end.
For example, Toussaint has 14 double-digit scoring performances this season including a career-high 22 points and one of the best games of his career against Iowa State as he’s developed into a key part of the Mountaineers attack.
That is the biggest difference that he has learned over his career is even when the ball isn’t going into the basket there are ways to impact the game.
“That’s what I preach to them every day. Offense is going to go the way it wants to; people have bad games or bad shooting games. But I tell people you can control your effort and you can control playing defense and playing hard,” Toussaint said.
The experienced guard has settled in to his role not only as a scoring option off the bench but as a leader given his experience.
It’s a decision that has paid off for Toussaint as he has transformed his role in the way he set out to do when he elected to find a new college landing spot.
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