Keyontae Johnson Down To Final Four Schools In Transfer Decision

Keyontae Johnson is closer to deciding his next home, announcing on Wednesday that he was down to his final four schools.


Johnson’s transfer portal journey hasn’t exactly been a straightforward one given that teams are faced with the difficult challenge of deciding whether or not they would clear him for basketball activities. While finding a new home was looking to be a challenge for a while, Johnson was ultimately able to receive some excellent offers which have now been whittled down to four teams:


Western Kentucky, Kansas State, Memphis, and Nebraska. 


There is a belief that Johnson will be able to participate from day one wherever he goes, but if he’s unable to continue his basketball career he has a robust insurance settlement reportedly worth $5 million that will help him transition to his next phase of life. Johnson could have already cashed in on that settlement if he wanted to, so his attempts at playing basketball show his passion for the sport and how he is truly focused on trying to play the game not just in college but professionally. 


Entering the 2020-21 season, Johnson was expected to be an All-American candidate after a 2019-20 season that saw him average 14 points and 7 rebounds per game. For that reason, when his doctors cleared him to attempt to play college basketball this season there were a number of quality programs reaching out, and he’ll be able to go to a good situation to continue his career.


Kansas State is considered the favorite right now. First year head coach Jerome Tang is very respected around the college basketball world and he would offer Johnson an opportunity to play a big role right away. If he does end up going to Kansas State that means there would also be an emotional reunion as the Gators and Wildcats will be meeting in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, and seeing Johnson line up against his former team would certainly be emotional.


Western Kentucky is considered to be next in line. The Hilltoppers have been able to take care of their stars with NIL money so far, and if Johnson wants a bit of a lower stress opportunity to get his skills back to what they were before the medical incident it could be easier to do so with a Conference USA team than a high-major.


Memphis has been around Johnson’s recruitment for some time and while they’ve never been considered the favorite they have the star potential to potentially lure Johnson. As has been the case since Penny Hardaway got to Memphis the Tigers have some top level talent that will have the eyes of NBA scouts and with Johnson’s goal being to make it to the NBA, Memphis might be the team on his final four list with the most regular appearances from NBA scouts. 


Nebraska is the team that has entered the mix latest, but getting named by Johnson as one of his finalists suggests there is something to the Cornhuskers and their pitch. Much like Kansas State they would offer big minutes at the high major level, something that Johnson might desire as he tries to prove he’s the player that he always was. 


While Johnson has never outright said this, the very act of trying to play basketball again suggests he thinks he can play professionally and not just at any level but the highest level–the NBA. Whichever program he thinks can best get him there will likely be the one he chooses.


No matter where Keyontae Johnson goes next, he’ll have a whole lot of Gator fans cheering him on and we wish him the best of luck with his decision, which is supposed to come in the next few days.

Eric Fawcett
Eric hails from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. His blend of sports and comedy has landed his words on ESPN, Bleacher Report, CBS Sports, Lindy's and others. He loves zone defenses, the extra pass, and a 30 second shot clock. Growing up in Canada, an American channel showing SEC basketball games was his first exposure to Gator hoops, and he has been hooked ever since. You can follow him on Twitter at @Efawcett7.