By Kansas State University Athletics
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Fifth-year senior Keyontae Johnson was honored as the Phillips 66 Big 12 Newcomer of the Week on Monday (November 14) after his triumphant return to college basketball last week.
Johnson, who missed nearly two years due to a medical emergency while playing at Florida, started both games for K-State this past week in wins over UTRGV (November 7) and California (November 11). He averaged 14.5 points on 47.6 percent (10-of-21) shooting, including 57.1 percent (4-of-7) from 3-point range to go with 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.0 steals in 29.7 minutes per game. He was the team leader in minutes in both contests.
In addition, Johnson was selected as the NCAA March Madness National Player of the Week.
Johnson, a transfer from Florida, played his first game since Dec. 12, 2020, in the 93-59 victory over UTRGV in the opener, posting 13 points on 4-of-8 field goals, including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc, and 2-of-2 free throws to go with 4 assists and 2 rebounds in a team-high 26 minutes of action. He followed with a near double-double in the 63-54 win at California, scoring a team-best 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting and 3-of-4 free throws to go with a game-high 9 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist and 1 block in a game-high 33 minutes.
Johnson is the first Wildcat to earn a weekly honor after the first week of the season since Wes Iwundu shared Big 12 Player of the Week accolade on Nov. 16, 2015. He is the first Wildcat to capture Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors since Mark Smith on Jan. 3, 2022. Overall, it marks the school’s 33rd Newcomer of the Week honor since the inception of the Big 12 in 1997, including the first under head coach Jerome Tang. It is the second career weekly honor for Johnson, who was named the SEC Player of the Week on Nov. 25, 2019, while playing at Florida.
A 6-foot-6, 230-pound forward from Norfolk, Va., Johnson saw action in 71 games at Florida with 55 starts, earning First Team All-SEC honors as a sophomore in 2019-20 and was the Preseason SEC Player of the Year prior to his junior season in 2020-21. He averaged 10.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per game with the Gators.
K-State (2-0) returns home Thursday night to face Kansas City (0-3) at 5:30 p.m., CT in the first game of a men’s and women’s doubleheader at Bramlage Coliseum. Tickets start at just $5 for groups of 12 or more and $7.50 when utilizing the four-pack option. They can be purchased by visiting k-statesports.com, calling (800) 221.CATS, or by visiting the Bramlage Coliseum ticket office in person from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., CT, Monday through Friday.