Meechie Johnson Returns to Ohio State for Final Season After Two Years with South Carolina

By Andy Anders on April 2, 2024 at 6:03 pm
Meechie Johnson Committed

Ohio State's found a backcourt piece for next season. Or, perhaps more accurately, rediscovered one.

After two seasons developing into a star guard at South Carolina, Meechie Johnson is returning to Columbus for his final year of collegiate eligibility.

The Johnson File

  • Year: Fifth-Year Senior
  • Size: 6-2/184
  • Pos: Point Guard
  • School: South Carolina (2022-24)
  • Stats: 14.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.9 APG, 0.9 SPG

A composite four-star prospect in the recruiting class of 2020, Johnson arrived at Ohio State as a touted in-state prospect from Garfield Heights High School near Cleveland.

His first two seasons with the Buckeyes didn't go according to plan. Johnson played 17 games as a freshman and averaged just 5.8 minutes in those contests with 1.2 points. Year two saw his production increase slightly to 4.4 points in 17.7 minutes per game, but he shot just 30.8% from the field, though he did hit a game-winning 3-pointer against Seton Hall.

With Ohio State pivoting to focus on a younger cast of incoming freshman guards that included Bruce Thornton and Roddy Gayle in 2022-23, Johnson entered the transfer portal and wound up at South Carolina.

He posted 12.7 points per game, second-most on the team, and paced the Gamecocks in assists with 3.6 per contest in his first year with the Gamecocks. Johnson still shot just 36.1% from the field that year as South Carolina went 11-21.

This past season, however, Johnson led South Carolina with 14.1 points and 2.9 assists per game as the Gamecocks went 26-7 before losing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. He also shot a career-high 39.9% from the field.

Johnson will now split the Buckeyes' backcourt with Thornton and Gayle in 2024-25, giving the Buckeyes another proven scorer and passer from the guard position.

It’s uncertain whether Johnson could supplant Gayle in the starting lineup, come off the bench or join them in the starting lineup, though that would mean starting three guards who are 6-foot-4 or shorter. That said, his proven scoring ability for an NCAA Tournament team in a power conference should make him an impact addition for a team looking to get back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in three years under new head coach Jake Diebler.

Johnson is the first transfer addition for Ohio State this offseason, but he likely won’t be the last. Ohio State currently has one scholarship available for the 2024-25 season following the entrances of Scotty Middleton and Bowen Hardman into the transfer portal.

In addition to Johnson, the Buckeyes hosted former Princeton guard Matt Allocco on a visit over the weekend. Other players in the transfer portal who Ohio State has reportedly contacted include Kent State guard Jalen Sullinger, Iowa guard Tony Perkins, Notre Dame forward Carey Booth and Kentucky forward Adou Thiero.

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