The Breakdown: Joe Toussaint

Iowa freshman guard moved into the starting lineup in December
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Joe Toussaint made it apparent early in his freshman season that he was going to make an impact with Iowa's men's basketball team.

He had 13 points in Iowa's 93-78 loss to DePaul, never wavering on a night when the Hawkeyes struggled with the Blue Demons.

By the Dec. 21 game against Cincinnati at the United Center in Chicago, Toussaint was in the starting lineup.

In a lot of ways, it was a typical up-and-down freshman season. Toussaint started every game for the rest of the season, averaging almost 18 minutes per game. He averaged 6.5 points and 2.9 assists, with eight games of scoring in double figures.

He scored 32 points in an early-January stretch in road games against Penn State and Nebraska, then scored just six points in the next three games.

Toussaint scored 14 points in a home win over Rutgers, then followed that with an 11-point game in a win over Wisconsin in late January. But he wouldn't score in double figures again until a 14-point game in the loss to Illinois in the final regular-season game of the season.

Toussaint could have used the experience of playing in the postseason in the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments, but the cancellations because of the coronavirus pandemic ended that.

Toussaint brought a toughness, especially on defense, that the Hawkeyes had been lacking. He was seventh in the Big Ten in steals per game at 1.2.

He'll press for a starting role in a crowded backcourt next season.

Notes — Toussaint closed the season making 17 consecutive free throws. ... He made 83 percent of his free throws during the season. ... He had personal bests with seven assists and five steals in his second start of the season against Kennesaw State.