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Pitt Basketball

Replacement for Xavier Johnson? Pitt Reaches Out to FIU Transfer Antonio Daye

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Junior point guard Xavier Johnson just announced his decision to transfer from Pitt on Wednesday morning, but the Pitt staff already has their eyes on a possible replacement.

FIU junior point guard Antonio Daye recently announced his intention to transfer and since that time, his phone has been ringing off the hook. In just two days, Daye has been contacted by Pitt, Arkansas, Missouri, Florida, NC State, Wake Forest, Valparaiso, Wichita State, Virginia Tech and others.

Prior to his decision this season, Daye was averaging 17.1 points, 4.3 rebounds. 4.7 assists, while shooting 45% from the field.

Courtesy of Antonio Daye

Following an afternoon workout and with a phone call tonight with Jeff Capel expected on Wednesday night, Daye spoke with Pittsburgh Sports Now about his decision to enter the transfer portal and what he’s looking for in his next team.

“My decision to leave Florida International wasn’t easy and something I had to think a lot about because of the relationship I have with my teammates and the coaching staff,” said Daye. “Florida International was one of the first schools to offer me and they showed trust in me. I had to think long and hard about things but in the end, I made the decision that was best for my future. I really wanted to go to a school that harped on basketball more and was more of a basketball school.

“The interest that I’ve received since my decision has been a blessing. I’m really not that surprised because I know the work that I’ve put in to get better at my craft. I’m looking forward to finding my next school but am also thankful for all the schools that have shown this initial interest in me.”

Courtesy of Antonio Daye

Schools are showing interest in Daye because of his all-around game, as he’s skilled both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball.

“I will bring toughness to a team,” said Daye. “I also bring a competitive and winning spirt to everything I do. As a person, I believe I’m a high-character individual that brings positive energy to whatever room I walk in. I want to show my teammates that I’m a leader and will do whatever I can to help and win.

“My offensive game is definitely coming into its own and getting better because of the work I’ve put in but my defense is my strength and I think that’s because the competitive nature I bring to the court every game. I want to compete and take very serious pride in playing defense and doing whatever I can not to let my man score.”

As previously mentioned, Daye is scheduled to speak with Capel and the Pitt staff Wednesday evening but being from North Carolina, Daye is already familiar with the Capel name and likes the things he already knows about the Pitt program.

“I’m supposed to talk to Coach Capel later but when I talked to one of the assistants, I was excited because I know that Pitt is a good program and are on the upswing in the ACC because of Coach Capel,” Daye said. “The fact that they play in the ACC is already a big deal for Pitt. … When it comes time to make a decision, my family and I are going to look for a school that needs me and doesn’t just want me. I don’t want to go to a place where I’m just going to be on the roster and go to a place where I have the opportunity to make an impact and make that impact right away.”

Daye said he doesn’t have a specific timeframe about making a future decision.

“I really don’t right now because I’m letting schools right now contact me and then I have to look and see about their roster and make a checklist about things like happened today with Xavier Johnson leaving,” said Daye. “I will be patient as much as possible and let things play out. I’m going to look for the best opportunity and go from there.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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