MANHATTAN, Kan. – Senior Keyontae Johnson earned Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors for the fourth time this season on Monday (January 23) after averaging a near 20/10 double-double in helping Kansas State to a pair of wins last week over No. 2/2 Kansas and Texas Tech.
Johnson’s four Big 12 Newcomer of the Week accolades are the most since Michael Beasley won a school-record eight such weekly honors during the 2007-08 season.
Johnson averaged a near 20/10 double-double for the second time in a 3-week span, averaging 19.5 points on 41.7 percent (10-of-24) shooting, including 60 percent (3-of-5) from 3-point range, and 84.2 percent (16-of-19) from the free throw line, to go with 9.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals in 34.9 minutes per game.
Johnson had the game-winner in the 83-82 overtime victory over No. 2/2 Kansas on Jan. 17, as his lob dunk from fellow senior Markquis Nowell with 25 seconds left in overtime helped the Wildcats snap the Jayhawks’ 10-game overall winning streak and 7-game skid in the series. He finished with a team-tying 24 points to go with 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and a block in 34 minutes. It was his 14th career 20-point game, including his sixth as a Wildcat. He concluded the week with his 16th career double-double, including his third this season, in the win over Texas Tech on Saturday, finishing with 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds to go with 3 assists and a steal in 36 minutes. He has now scored in double figures in all 19 games.
Named to the USBWA’s Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List last week, along with teammate Markquis Nowell, Johnson was also named the winner of the Newcomer of the Week honor on Nov. 14 and Dec. 19, 2022, and Jan. 9. It is the seventh weekly award for the Wildcats this season, joining two-time Big 12 Player of the Week Nowell (Nov. 28 and Jan. 9) and Newcomer of the Week winner Nae’Qwan Tomlin on Dec. 27.
A 6-foot-6, 230-pound forward from Norfolk, Va., Johnson is averaging a team-best 18.5 points on 54.8 percent (125-of-228) from the field, including 40.4 percent (23-of-57) from 3-point range, and 75.7 percent (78-of-103) from the free throw line, to go with 7.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.3 steals in 33.7 minutes per game. He ranks among the top-10 in 6 categories in the Big 12, while he and Kansas’ Jalen Wilson are the only players in the conference to rank in the top-5 in both scoring and rebounding in both overall and Big 12-only games.
No. 13/15 K-State (17-2, 6-1 Big 12) returns to action on Tuesday night, as the Wildcats travel to Ames, Iowa to take on No. 12/12 Iowa State (14-4, 5-2 Big 12) at Hilton Coliseum at 8 p.m., CT on ESPNU.