Former South Carolina Guard Meechie Johnson Returning To Ohio State

By April 2, 2024 (6:08 pm)Basketball

Ohio State and Jake Diebler added a familiar face through the transfer portal on April 2 as former Buckeyes guard Meechie Johnson announced he is transferring back to the program after spending two seasons at South Carolina.

Johnson, a Cleveland native and close family friend of NBA superstar LeBron James, initially joined the then-Chris Holtmann-led Buckeyes in December 2020 after graduating early from Cleveland Heights as a four-star prospect and No. 3 overall prospect in Ohio. After receiving limited playing time and totaling just 21 points and seven rebounds in 17 appearances as an 18-year-old freshman, Johnson saw his role expand his true freshman season, where he logged 4.4 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 26 games, including five starts. 

Johnson then transferred from Ohio State to South Carolina ahead of the 2022-23 season, where he emerged as one of the Gamecocks’ top offensive contributors across the past two seasons. He immediately inserted himself as a starter in Lamont Paris’ program, starting 29 of 30 games his sophomore year and ranking second on the team in scoring at 12.7 points per game. 

Johnson took his game to another level this season as one of the veteran leaders of the program. The junior started each of his 33 games for the Gamecocks and led the team in both points (14.1), minutes (29.1 per game) and steals (30), all efforts that helped guide South Carolina to a 26-8 record (13-5 in SEC) and its first NCAA Tournament berth in seven years. He scored a team-high 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting in 34 minutes of action in the Gamecocks lone NCAA Tournament game this season, an 87-73 defeat to No. 11 seed Oregon on March 21. 

Now, with Johnson returning to Ohio State, he will provide another top scoring threat to a veteran-laden Buckeyes’ backcourt in 2024-25 that will also likely include rising junior guards and all-around playmakers Roddy Gayle Jr. (13.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists) and Bruce Thornton (15.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists).

Gayle, Thornton and Johnson are set to man the Buckeyes’ starting backcourt next season, with rising junior center Felix Okpara, rising sophomore forward Devin Royal likely taking over the two starting positions in the frontcourt.

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