Meechie Johnson leaves South Carolina, returns to Ohio St.

Meechie Johnson leaves South Carolina, returns to Ohio St.

Published on Tuesday, 3/26/24, at 12:47 p.m. Eastern.
Updated on Thursday, 4/4/24, at 7:33 a.m. Eastern.

UPDATE: Since announcing his decision to transfer from South Carolina, Meechie Johnson has committed to Ohio St. 

Meechie Johnson announced Monday that he’s leaving South Carolina after leading the program to its first NCAA Tournament bid since 2017. He discussed his stunning decision to enter the transfer portal on Instagram live and also released a statement to On3.

“First, I would like to thank God for all of the opportunities he’s allowed me to have and also my family and friends who have been there for me throughout this long journey!

Second, I want to thank the entire coaching staff, strength coaches, trainers, alumni, and professors for contributing to me having a wonderful experience while attending USC. Gamecock nation will always have a place in my heart.

Coach Paris has been very impactful in my life and my development and that is my guy forever but all being said, I will be entering the transfer portal and will also consider testing the NBA Draft waters.” 

Johnson, a Cleveland native, spent his first two years at Ohio State before joining Lamont Paris and the Gamecocks. Most of the early speculation about Johnson’s future is that a reunion with the Buckeyes is probably imminent.

In 2022-23 when South Carolina struggled to an 11-21 straight-up record and a 17-14-1 against-the-spread mark, Johnson played in 30 games and started 29 times. He logged 33.1 minutes per game, averaging 12.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists.

The Gamecocks finished 26-8 SU and 23-11 ATS this year and Johnson was the catalyst. He averaged a team-high 14.1 PPG and also contributed 4.1 rebounds and 2.9 APG.

After finishing in a four-way tie for second place in the SEC standings with a 13-5 record in league play, South Carolina beat Arkansas 80-66 as a 5.5-point favorite in the opening round of the SEC Tournament in Nashville.

In the SEC Tourney quarterfinals, the Gamecocks lost 86-55 vs. Auburn as 7.5-point underdogs. They bowed out of the NCAA Tournament in the first round, losing 87-73 vs. Oregon as 2.5-point underdogs.

Johnson had a team-high 24 points, three rebounds, three assists and one steal in the losing effort against the Ducks. He hit 9-of-16 field-goal attempts and 4-of-7 launches from 3-point territory.