Why is Meechie Johnson transferring? South Carolina leading scorer ‘testing NBA draft waters’

Meechie Johnson, who helped lead South Carolina basketball to a 26-8 record and NCAA Tournament berth as the team’s leading scorer in 2023-24, is entering the transfer portal.

The 6-foot-2, 184-pound guard spent two years playing for the Gamecocks after previously playing two seasons at Ohio State.

He issued a statement on Instagram thanking second-year coach Lamont Paris and the team before saying he would regardless enter the NCAA portal. He also mentioned he is “testing” NBA draft waters.


Meechie Johnson: No. 6 in Ohio State men's basketball power rankings

Johnson played in and started 33 of the Gamecocks’ games this season, seemingly finishing his career in Columbia with a first-round loss to 11 seed Oregon.

He finished the game with a team-high 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting, adding three rebounds and three assists in the 87-73 first-round defeat.

Here’s everything you need to know of his decision to enter the transfer portal:

Why is Meechie Johnson transferring from South Carolina?

Johnson issued a statement posted to his Instagram page thanking South Carolina and Paris while announcing his decision.

“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 said.

Meechie Johnson transferring from South Carolina | theScore.com


While he didn’t explicitly mention name, image and likeness (NIL) in his decision to enter the portal, it’s possible Johnson may consider capitalizing on NIL opportunities after what was his best statistical season to date in college basketball.

Meechie Johnson stats

Johnson is coming off a season in which he enjoyed career highs in scoring average (14.1 points per game), field goal percentage (39.9%) and rebounds (136). He led the team in scoring while averaging 4.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.

Here’s a year-by-year look at his stats, including the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons, which he spent at Ohio State:

2020-21 (Ohio State): 1.2 ppg, 0.5 rpg, 0.2 apg

2021-22 (Ohio State): 4.4 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.2 apg

2022-23 (South Carolina): 12.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.6 apg

2023-24 (South Carolina): 14.1 ppg, 4.1 ppg, 2.9 apg

Meechie Johnson 247 rankings

Johnson enters the portal ranked as the No. 25 point guard and No. 75 overall player among transfers, according to 247Sports. He is considered a three-star player.

Coming out of Garfield Heights High School in Cleveland, Johnson was considered a four-star recruit. He was the No. 133 overall player in the 2020 recruiting class, as well as the No. 23 point guard and the No. 3 player from the state of Ohio, per 247Sports’ Composite rankings.





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