Johnson Named Semifinalist for Naismith Player of the Year

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Senior Keyontae Johnson was named one of 10 semifinalists for the 2023 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year Award, as announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club on Friday (March 10).

Johnson was joined as a semifinalist for the award, along with Purdue’s Zach Edey, Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis, UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr., Marquette’s Tyler Kolek, Alabama’s Brandon Miller, Houston’s Marcus Sasser, Gonzaga’s Drew Timme, Arizona’s Azuolas Tubelis and Kansas’ Jalen Wilson.

The award’s four finalists will be announced on Tuesday, March 21.

The Fan Vote to help narrow the list down to winner will open on Tuesday, March 21 and close Tuesday, March 28. The fan vote will account for 5 percent of the overall final vote. The 2023 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy for Men’s Player of the Year will be awarded on Sunday, April 2 during the Final Four.

The honor was yet another for the senior, who was recently named one of 15 players to the national ballot for the John R. Wooden Award and a finalist for the Julius Erving Award, which is given annually to the top small forward in college basketball by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.

Earlier this week, Johnson was chosen as the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year as well as All-Big 12 First Team by both the league coaches and AP. He is the 13th Wildcat since 1970 to be voted as the league’s Newcomer of the Year and the second in the Big 12 era, joining Denis Clemente in 2009.

A 6-foot-6, 230-pound forward from Norfolk, Va., Johnson is currently averaging a team-best 17.7 points on 51.9 percent (209-of-403) from the field, including 41.9 percent (44-of-105) from 3-point range, and 72.5 percent (103-of-142) from the free throw line, to go with a team-best 7.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.2 steals in 34 minutes per game. He is one of only two players (Kansas’ Jalen Wilson) to rank in the top-5 in the Big 12 in scoring and rebounding both in overall and league-only games.

No. 12/12 K-State (23-9, 11-7 Big 12) will learn its postseason destination on Sunday afternoon when the Wildcats are expected to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

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