What Led to the Departures of Xavier Johnson and Au’Diese Toney
The Pitt men’s basketball program has been in the news over the last 48 hours with the departures of junior point guard Xavier Johnson and junior forward Au’Diese Toney, both of whom have decided to transfer.
The decision to leave with just a handful of games left in the season along with the talent of both Johnson and Toney has left many people surprised and asking questions.
With a story of this nature, it’s not surprising that many rumors are now floating around regarding what happened and what’s going on with Jeff Capel’s program.
Pittsburgh Sports Now’s Mike Vukovcan has some insight from his sources on this entire situation.
Sorry you felt that way. Not as easy to report as everyone thinks. My point was this my sources tells me this was a result of conflicting personalities, actions that happened between multiple people and some non-action from the coaching staff. Don’t know how that is viewed as saying nothing but that’s your opinion.
I understand the tap dance. what was interesting is that he didn’t “ask” them to leave … maybe he “asked” them to leave by saying .. “you aren’t going to start or get PT until you make these changes”. also, i still find it interesting that the press release said “mutual”. if a player up and leaves on their own, it isn’t mutual and it would be disingenuous for Pitt to say so.
it was a mutual decision because the situation wasn’t going to improve. As I said, this goes back to last year.
potayto .. potahto
as for coaching staff non-actions. i guess it depends on whether that inaction was correct or not. maybe they decided it wasn’t necessary and the players disagreed. maybe it was necessary and they dropped the ball and made a mistake. 2 very different situations but could result in the same outcomes, i.e., guys leave. maybe these 2 guys were getting hassled by other players. they asked Capel to have it stopped, and it didn’t happen. they couldn’t take it anymore and so they left.
I do understand that it’s difficult to report and you are protecting sources but conflicting personalities is extremely vague. If you lump that in with playing time, it’s probably the root cause of 90% of transfers. Most of us probably could have guessed that although the non-actions by coaching staff is troubling. I guess as fans and alum we want to know who was involved, who was in the “wrong” or was it just differing viewpoints, did the coaching staff learn anything, is the program in trouble or have underlying issues. I get we may never have answers to any… Read more »
Conflicting personalities = teammates couldn’t co-exist
I could kind of see this coming with X. Seemed he had a problem with Trey& Champagne last year getting more attention. Then his play this year being erractic caused Coach to sit him. The shock is Toney? Can’t figure that out!!!!
I’m deeply concerned, especially since we don’t have anyone coming in yet, but I really believe in Femi O as a pure point guard, Nike at the 2,and William Jeffrees can now become the future. Looking back when he grabbed X, Tray, etc, did he rush just to get a roster that looked good on paper while ignoring some flags. As a student of history it kind of reminds me of how Ben Howland let alot of kids go, and also cut some players but once he truly got his players he built a strong foundation. It just bothers me… Read more »
I like your thought process. Toney is the one that bothers me. I know people will be saying Capel needs to go. I see what Capel did at VCU and Oklahoma and I’ll say not so fast. I didn’t like what I saw from Narduzzi for so long but he finally got a top 25 recruiting class and so it may just take longer than we wish but a constant revolving door of coaches will not ever help make the program on solid footing so I’m not ready to throw Capel under the bus. I just think we unfortuntely may… Read more »
Punctuation means a lot.
So if conflicting personalities = teammates not being able to coexist, then the two who left were incompatible with a teammate that is still on the team, not each other. Obviously, because with one leaving the other one would stay, if it were that simple. So, who is it? Thinking another starter, why would they really care, and risk the move, about someone off the bench going into their senior year – especially with the few minutes the reserves get anyway. Unless those two hated each other so much, and it was so obvious that the coaches did nothing, that… Read more »
so blah blah blah, Capel sucks.
I appreciate your reporting on this Mike and I appreciate that you have been fair to both sides. Player personalities and egos can be a real challenge. Some teammates come together and support each other. Some teammates are adversarial and talk about each other. I don’t know what was going on with this group and I don’t need to know. I just want to know that Coach Capel is addressing this and promoting a team culture. It is up to him to recruit high character kids that want to be part of something bigger than themselves. He now has alot… Read more »
Don’t know why a person didn’t like your comment. I’m wondering the same.
I thought if you had two sources to back your story, you could report it. Perhaps, PSN is the thing hamstringing you. It does help that you shared that there were teammates that can’t co-exist but further defining whether any personality differences remain would be helpful. If it goes back to last year, that brings us back to Trey McGowans and Ryan Murphy. Perhaps the issue was that Capel and his staff made mistakes as whom to keep?
“It will be like free agency… without the money”. I love the comedy in trying times!
Time will probably fix this mess but how much time as a Pitt fan all we do is wait for time for both bball and football
Is Capel in trouble? I know the buyout would be huge. Or does he have the support of AD Lyke?