First, the news:
Just received word from #Xavier that sophomore KyKy Tandy has entered the transfer portal— Adam Baum (@AdamJBaum) March 15, 2021
This isn't entirely surprising. Tandy showed a lot of potential as a freshman, dropping 18 on Georgetown and 14 on Seton Hall in conference wins. After a slow start to the season due to injury, his strong finish through conference play had plenty of Xavier fans believing he was going to break out this year.
It never materialized. After showing the ability to score the ball against Xavier's early competition, he fell out of the rotation almost entirely. He had 41 minutes in the overtime win against Eastern Kentucky. Through seven conference games, he had 42 minutes total. In a team that struggled to score, especially after the injury to Nate Johnson, his absence was a damning indictment.
Tandy's handling is a litmus test for fans regarding how much they believe in Travis Steele. The same demographic that was complaining that Quentin Goodin and Naji Marshall got too much leash last year is now complaining that Kyky didn't get enough this year. If you want a coach to install a culture, you have to be open to some collateral damage along the way if people won't fall in line. Steele is adamant that guys who play in games earnt that time with their performance in practice, most notably the way they earn Xavier Way points. Tandy, it would seem, did not.
The elephant in the room is, of course, that many people don't believe Steele is the man for the job, and every player who falls by the wayside is evidence that he isn't capable of managing a roster.
Whatever the case may be, Kyky Tandy is an incredibly talented player and one whose ability I personally have a lot of faith in. Someone is going to get a guy who can really flourish in the right environment. Unfortunately for Kyky and those of us who wanted to see him succeed at Xavier, it appears X was not a fit for him.