South Carolina transfer Meechie Johnson hearing from Kentucky

On3 imageby:Zack Geoghegan04/01/24

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In two matchups against Kentucky over the last two seasons, Meechie Johnson averaged 20 points per game in a pair of wins for the South Carolina Gamecocks. Could Johnson find himself suiting up for the Wildcats next season?

According to On3’s Joe Tipton, Johnson, who entered his name into the transfer portal on March 25 and is also testing the NBA Draft waters, has heard from four schools: Kentucky, Ohio State, Arkansas, and Texas A&M. Johnson has one year of college eligibility remaining after spending his first two seasons at Ohio State (the first as a mid-year enrollee) and the previous two at South Carolina.

Johnson was South Carolina’s leading scorer in 2023-24, averaging 13.1 points per contest along with 4.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists. The 6-foot-2 guard started in all 33 games he appeared in, seeing 29.1 minutes per game. He shot 39.9 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from deep for the Gamecocks this past season.

A product of Cleveland, OH, Johnson started his college career at Ohio State, enrolling early (Jan. 2020) after suffering a knee injury during his junior season of high school at Garfield Heights. He saw action in just 17 games as a true freshman in 2020-21, averaging 1.2 points in 5.8 minutes per outing. His numbers jumped the following season in 2021-22, starting in five of 26 games played while averaging 4.4 points in 17.7 minutes per game.

Johnson then left the Buckeyes for South Carolina in the 2022 offseason. He quickly made his mark for first-year head coach Lamont Paris, averaging 12.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in 33.3 minutes per game. Against Kentucky inside Rupp Arena in Jan. 2023, Johnson dropped 26 points, six rebounds, and six assists in a win for the Gamecocks.

Although Johnson’s minutes dipped slightly in 2023-24, the team around him vastly improved. South Carolina went from winning 11 games in ’22-23 to 26 games this past season, including a trip to the NCAA Tournament. Johnson recorded 14 points, three rebounds, and four assists this past January against UK in what was another win for the Gamecocks.

Johnson becomes the fourth portal player mentioned in connection with Kentucky. He joins the likes of Clifford Omoruyi (Rutgers), Jordan Ivy-Curry (UTSA), and BJ Freeman (Milwaukee).

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2024-04-22