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Pitt Basketball

Pitt PG Xavier Johnson to Enter Transfer Portal, Sit out Rest of Season

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Pitt point guard Xavier Johnson will enter the transfer portal and will sit out the rest of the 2020-21 season, the program announced on Wednesday. The news was first reported by Craig Meyer of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Johnson, 21, has been Pitt’s starting point guard since he arrived on campus in 2018, making 81 starts in that time period while scoring over 1,000 points in his Pitt career and averaging 13.7 points per game.

“The Pitt men’s basketball program and Xavier Johnson have mutually agreed that it is in everyone’s best interest to part ways,” Capel said in a press release. “He will enter then transfer portal and is no longer a member of our program. We wish him the best of luck as he looks to continue his career elsewhere.”

This season, Johnson was Pitt’s third-leading scorer at 14.2 points per game and led the team in assists with 5.7 per game.

But Johnson saw a slightly decreased role this season, as he averaged 28.6 minutes per game after averaging 31.2 and 33.2 minutes per game in his first two seasons. That largely stemmed from foul trouble, but Johnson was also benched twice by Pitt head coach Jeff Capel for undisciplined play. He came off the bench against Virginia Tech and NC State.

Johnson departs with three games remaining on Pitt’s regular season schedule. The Panthers (9-9, 5-8 ACC) have lost seven of their last eight and have this week off before Sunday’s game at NC State.

They’ll finish their regular season against Wake Forest on March 2 and at Clemson on March 6.

Freshman Femi Odukale has been Pitt’s primary backup for Johnson this season and he started the two games that Johnson did not. Odukale has averaged 4.8 points, 2.2 rebounds and two assists per game in his first collegiate season. Walk-on Onye Ezeakudo is Pitt’s only other regular point guard.

Johnson is the third player to transfer from the Pitt program since the end of the 2020 season. Shooting guards Trey McGowens (Nebraska) and Ryan Murphy (Duquesne) transferred in the 2020 offseason.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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kmp30
kmp30
9 months ago

Not a good look for anyone. Cant say the writing wasn’t on the wall here though.

Ned Jacobs
Ned Jacobs
9 months ago

Tough to rebuild when players keep transferring. Unfortunately, college hoops are permanently destroyed. The one and done’s and the constant transferring does not help program stability and the product itself is terrible to watch anymore.

Capel Sucks
Capel Sucks
9 months ago
Reply to  Ned Jacobs

That falls solely on Capel

Randy Joseck
Randy Joseck
9 months ago

X seemed very immature and he didn’t mature much in his time at Pitt. Coach capel put up with a lot from X. Time to move on.

Tom DiPasquale
Tom DiPasquale
9 months ago

Quitting is never a good look. Terrible decision from a selfish player. Just ridiculous.

Richard Lovato
Richard Lovato
9 months ago

With zero commitments for 2021, Capel and Pitt are in deep trouble. He has surrounded himself with a questionable coaching staff that has dug a huge hole that they may not be able to crawl out of.

Kim Deal
Kim Deal
9 months ago

XJ had leadership issues. Lots of fouls, even selfish technicals. He appeared to be uncoachable. Although he looked brilliant at times, he was also a poison to this program.

Capel though let this issue fester and has not recruited well at all. His inability to get fill the pipeline of players is disappointing.

Bob Cardy
Bob Cardy
9 months ago
Reply to  Kim Deal

I agree XJ could not meet Capel’s expectations in conduct on the court, but don’t know I would call him a cancer. I wish him well. As far a recruiting, Capel took over a dumpster fire and brought in 3 quality ACC players his first year: X, Trey and Toney. He followed that up with Champagne. Drumgoole is a bust. Coulabally would not get more than single digit minutes on a good team He hustles, but is not an ACC quality player. We were all excited about last years class of Femi, Jeffress, Hughley, Collier and Amundsen. Femi looks like… Read more »

Capel Sucks
Capel Sucks
9 months ago
Reply to  Bob Cardy

He’s had more than enough time to right the ship and he’s failed to do so. He needs to go.

Richard Johnson
Richard Johnson
9 months ago

We didn’t win with him, so I wish him the best. X has to man up and except he is not the player he thinks he is, he definitely is not a point guard or a leader.

Clark Martineau
Clark Martineau
9 months ago

I guess the “Old School” approach of punishing a player into compliance doesn’t work so well anymore.
Good luck Xavier wherever you land.

Last edited 9 months ago by Clark Martineau
 
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