Ohio State Basketball: South Carolina Guard Meechie Johnson Returns to Ohio State

Ohio State’s Meechie Johnson Jr. (0) plays during the second half of a college basketball game Loyola Chicago in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Pittsburgh, Friday, March 18, 2022. Ohio State won 54-41. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Ohio State basketball is set to welcome a familiar face back to the program heading into next season as Meechie Johnson commits to the Buckeyes. 

Jake Diebler lands his first major addition in his era as head coach in All-SEC Second Team Guard Meechie Johnson Jr. Johnson returns to the Buckeyes after he spent two seasons with the Gamecocks, where he helped them go 26-8 which was the program’s best record since 1996. In his two seasons at South Carolina, Meechie averaged 13.4 points per game on 38% from the field.  

Johnson returns to Ohio State where he committed when he was a sophomore in high school. He was forced to sit out his junior year of high school due to suffering a torn ACL at the end of his sophomore season. Meechie decided to enroll at Ohio State during the second semester of 2020. He saw action in 17 games during that season and made a lot of promises to Buckeye Nation that they would find their next star.  

The next season, he showed flashes of being a future star. Meechie’s most notable moment as a Buckeye came during the Fort Myer Tip-Off Classic when he hit the game-winning three-pointer in the closing seconds to beat #21 Seton Hall 79-76. The rest of the season he would be a key piece off the bench but could never find consistency on the scoring end. Johnson announced after the season that he would be entering the transfer portal, and later announced that he would be taking his talents to South Carolina who had just hired Lamont Paris as their head coach. Consistency was a flaw in Meechie’s game while at Ohio State and in his first year at South Carolina he was able to raise his percentage to 36%. 

As he helped South Carolina tie for second in the SEC this season, he shot over 40% for most of it until he went on a scoring drought toward the end of the year. When South Carolina needed someone to come up clutch at the end of the game, Meechie was the number Lamont Paris would look toward. He was able to help lead a comeback in their NCAA Tournament game against Oregon but it unfortunately came up short.

He would be the third MARFO, named after Kevin Marfo who transferred from Quinnipiac to Texas A&M and then back to Quinnipiac after a season in College Station. Johnson would become the second player this cycle to return to a place they once called home, as Indiana’s Payton Sparks transferred back to Ball State a few weeks ago. 

Johnson returns home after a two-season absence to try and help the Buckeyes get back to the NCAA Tournament. His brother Marcus Johnson is a 5-Star Rated Guard in the Class Of 2026. Meechie once again becoming a Buckeye could draw his brother to also commit to be a Buckeye soon.

Meechie brings elite athleticism and the ability to score from anywhere on the court, something Ohio State has not had since the duo of Meechie and Duane Washington in 2021. Ohio State came into the transfer portal window with one open spot, so we will have to see if Coach Diebler will be aggressive in the portal or run it back with the same team as last season.