Xavier Johnson’s Pitt career came to an abrupt conclusion on Wednesday, leaving Jeff Capel and his staff with a major roster void to fill in a limited amount of time. One potential solution would be to land a transfer to compete for minutes at the point guard position, and Pitt’s search is already underway, as the staff has contacted FIU transfer Antonio Daye Jr.
Daye is a 6’3”, 188-pound point guard who hails from Durham, North Carolina, and attended Fort Lauderdale High School in Florida. He entered the 2020-21 season as a junior. As a regular starter from his sophomore season onward, Daye has been a reliable facilitator, with 253 assists in his last 53 games for an average of 4.8 assists per game in that span.
In addition, Daye has also developed as a scorer throughout his career, becoming FIU’s most prolific offensive contributor this season, with an average of 17.1 points per game. That average came up from 10.6 points per game last season and 8.3 the season before that.
This season, most of Daye’s points came on inside scoring, as he attempted 9.4 two-point shots per game and converted on 52.2 percent of them. If he transferred to Pitt and maintained that percentage, it would be tied with Au’Diese Toney for third-best on the team. Only Justin Champagnie and Abdoul Karim Coulibaly have fared better as close-range scorers, as they have converted on 56.4 and 52.8 percent of their attempts, respectively.
All told, Daye averaged 17.1 points, 4.7 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game. The knocks against him include subpar three-point and free-throw shooting that regressed this season and a turnover rate that has increased year over year. Specifically, Daye is a 27.7 percent long-range shooter and 68.0 percent free-throw shooter for his career, and he logged 4.5 turnovers per game this season after averaging 4.0 per game last season.
With that said, the transfer’s shooting and turnover issues do not appear to be scaring away any suitors, as Daye has heard from Arkansas, Cincinnati, Florida, Maryland, Missouri, NC State, Oregon, St. John’s, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Wichita State and 10 mid-major programs in addition to Pitt.
At this point, Daye has yet to set a decision date, but on Thursday, he told Jake Weingarten of Stockrisers that his current plans include talking to interested teams and listening to their pitches before trimming down his list and naming a group of finalists. And from that group, Daye will select his next school.