Ohio State basketball's Meechie Johnson Jr. entering transfer portal after two seasons

Adam Jardy
The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio State Buckeyes guard Meechie Johnson Jr. (0) dribbles around Michigan Wolverines guard Kobe Bufkin (2) during the first half of the NCAA men's basketball game at Value City Arena in Columbus on March 6, 2022. Michigan won 75-69.

After two seasons at Ohio State, guard Meechie Johnson Jr. has entered the transfer portal.

A product of Garfield Heights, Ohio, Johnson graduated high school early, enrolled at Ohio State during the 2020-21 season and played in 17 games during what would otherwise have been his senior year of basketball. It also marked his first extended team action since suffering a torn ACL during his sophomore season of high school basketball.

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"Since a kid, I've always dreamed of playing at The Ohio State University, and I will always be able to say God gave me what my heart desired," Johnson said in a graphic posted to social media. Then, after thanking God, his friends, family, coaching staff and others, Johnson wrote, "With that being said, I will be entering the transfer portal."

Johnson started the 2021-22 season opener for the Buckeyes but was replaced by freshman Malaki Branham in the next game. He would suffer through a facial fracture and concussion that forced him to play with a heavy protective mask on his face for much of the second half of the season as well as an ankle injury, and as the season progressed Johnson fell out of the rotation.

Johnson had averaged 6.6 points while playing in Ohio State's first 13 games. He averaged 2.2 points in his final 13 appearances after simultaneously suffering the two head injuries during practice and was an unused substitute during a Big Ten tournament loss to Penn State.

He finished his second year averaging 4.4 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 17.7 minutes per game while making 26 appearances. He also hit the game-winning 3-pointer against Seton Hall while playing in the Fort Myers Tip-Off.

Since the season’s end, Ohio State has been extensively pursuing guards through the transfer portal. The Buckeyes landed Wright State's Tanner Holden and have been linked with multiple other guards in the portal.

Johnson is the second player to enter the portal from last year's Ohio State team, joining senior Justin Ahrens, who will use his final year of eligibility elsewhere.

Johnson was a four-star prospect in the 2020 class according to 247Sports.com, which ranked him No. 126 nationally in his class and No. 3 in Ohio.

ajardy@dispatch.com

@AdamJardy

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