LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Razorbacks coaches have not only been in contact with Pittsburgh junior-transfer Au’Diese Toney, but the Hogs coaching staff is focused on making the talented guard a recruiting priority, according to sources.
Toney (6-6 guard, Huntsville, Ala., native) entered the transfer portal in the last week of February with Pitt’s regular-season not yet completed.
In a statement that Toney posted to Twitter on Feb. 25, he said: “I want to thank Coach (Jeff) Capel and the staff for taking a chance on me as an unknown prospect, and helping me become the player I am today. My teammates and #ZooNation will forever be a positive chapter in my life story. I enjoyed my experience and I am excited to see what’s next!”
A strong, skilled, and athletic lefty, Toney started all 16 games he played in as a junior in 2020-21 and averaged 14.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.3 steals in 34.9 minutes per game while shooting 46.4% from the field, including 18-of-53 from from 3 for 34.0%, and 66.7% from the free throw line for a team that was 9-7 with Toney in the lineup.
Toney scored 20 or more points three times in ’20-21, including a season-high of 22 points to go with 11 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 assist in Pitt’s 79-73 win over Duke on Jan. 19. In his last two games with Pitt — close losses against Georgia Tech and North Carolina State in mid-February — Toney combined for 32 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals.
His career-high scoring was 27 points against Duke during his sophomore season in ’19-20. In his three seasons at Pitt, Toney started in 68 of the 79 games he played in and totaled 763 points, 403 rebounds, 88 assists, and 80 steals.
According to reporting by ESPN’s Jeff Borzello, Toney has also been contacted by Tennessee, Missouri, Frorida, Georgia, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Arizona, Wisconsin, UConn, Iowa State, Seton Hall, Providence, Washington, Cincinnati, Western Kentucky, Wichita State, South Florida, Alabama-Birmingham, Charlotte, East Carolina, and North Carolina-Greensboro.
Arkansas is likely interested in adding at least one more big guard to its 2021 class that already includes early-period signee and ESPN national No. 73 / 4-star prospect Chance Moore (6-5 wing, McEachern School in Georgia). The Hogs have two big guards — freshman Moses Moody (6-6) and senior grad-transfer Jalen Tate (6-6) — who could be moving on from the program following the ’20-21 season as Moody is projected as a first-round pick in the 2021 NBA Draft should he decide to turn pro while Tate could also be eyeing pro basketball opportunities in ’21-22.
Head Hog Eric Musselman has brought in a total of 11 transfers — 5 in the 2019 recruiting class, 5 in 2020, and 1 so far in 2021 — spanning the three recruiting cycles overlapping his two seasons as head coach at Arkansas.