By Shawn Gibbs
NEW YORK CITY - Iowa fans will be very pleased if Fran McCaffery benefits from having Joe Toussaint on his roster as much as Joseph Lods has over the past four seasons.
Lods is the head coach at Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, N.Y., and Toussaint is his star point guard as Toussaint showed on Saturday by being named the Most Valuable Player of the Big Apple Tournament in lower Manhattan.
Toussaint is also a 2019 Iowa basketball recruit and Lods was asked on Saturday what Hawkeye fans can expect from his 5-foot-10 star point guard.
"He's a tough New York City guard who competes, especially at the end of the game," Lods said. "He's just a gamer. He's a winner.
"If you look at his record at Cardinal Hayes, it's off the charts. He makes me look like a good coach, he really does."
As a sophomore in the 2016-17 season, Toussaint helped lead Cardinal Hayes to their first CHSAA city championship on the AA level since 1990.
Last season, as a junior, he averaged 15 points per game for the Cardinals and led them to a 21-8 record and led them to a berth in the CHSAA semifinals.
"Understand, we hadn't won the championship since I believe it was 28 years, so Joe showed up and got us back to the city championship with a victory," Lods said.
Toussaint built on his reputation as a winner by leading Cardinal Hayes to a victory in the Big Apple Tournament on Saturday. He finished with 16 points, five assists and two steals.
Cardinal Hayes improved to 14-3 with the victory.
"I'm just progressing every single game," Toussaint said of his senior season.
Toussaint said he talks with the Iowa coaches and players on a regular basis, and he looks forward to attending Iowa's game at Rutgers on Feb. 16th.
"I talk to them basically every single day," Toussaint said.
Asked what he thinks his role will be for Iowa next season, Toussaint said:
"Just being a point guard on the floor. Scoring when I have to and playing defense on the best guards in the Big Ten."
Iowa needs to restock at point guard with current starter Jordan Bohannon being a junior.
The only other point guard on the current roster is redshirt freshman Connor McCaffery, who is the son of Iowa coach Fran McCaffery.