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Johnson Named to Lute Olson Award Mid-Season Watch List
Men's Basketball  . 

Johnson Named to Lute Olson Award Mid-Season Watch List

South Carolina Athletics

Junior from Cleveland averaging a career-best 18.0 points per game for the 13-2 Gamecocks

BOSTON, Mass. – Junior guard Meechie Johnson was named to the 2023-24 Lute Olson Mid-season National Player of the Year Award Watch List, announced on Wednesday. He is one of 30 players on the watch list for the prestigious award.

The award is named in honor of Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson, who won 776 games in 34 seasons, 24 of which were spent at the University of Arizona. During that stretch he led the Wildcats to 11 Pac-10 Conference titles, 23 consecutive NCAA Tournaments, four Final Four appearances and a National Championship in 1997.

In 2002, Olson was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Johnson is having the best season of his career so far in 2023-24. He’s scored in double figures in 13 of 14 games for South Carolina in helping the team to a 13-2 record. Johnson has a career-best six 20-point performances so far this season. He had a career-high 29 points in a ACC/SEC Challenge win over Notre Dame (Nov. 28) and recently led the Gamecocks to victory with 24 points in the team’s SEC opener against Mississippi State (Jan. 6). He earned SEC Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career for the performance.

Johnson is averaging 18.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.0 steals per game. He’s shooting a career-best 43.5 percent from the floor. He’s the third leading scoring in the SEC and one of nine players in the league currently averaging 16.0 or more points per game.

The Cleveland, Ohio, native, is one of five players in the SEC on the watch list. He’s joined by Johni Broome (Auburn), Dalton Knecht (Tennessee), Antonio Reeves (Kentucky) and Wade Taylor IV (Texas A&M).

The recipient of the annual award is determined by a 10-member voting committee, which consists of current and former head coaches, as well as two senior staff members of The 2024 award will be announced in Phoenix, site of this year’s Final Four.

2023-24 Lute Olson Mid-season National Player of the Year Award Watch List

Johni Broome – Auburn

L.J. Cryer – Houston

RJ Davis – North Carolina

Hunter Dickinson – Kansas

Zach Edey – Purdue

Terrence Edwards Jr. – James Madison

Kyle Filipowski – Duke

Tyon Grant-Foster – Grand Canyon

PJ Hall – Clemson

Meechie Johnson – South Carolina

Xavier Johnson – Southern Illinois

David Jones – Memphis

Jaedon LeDee – San Diego State

Ryan Kalkbrenner – Creighton

Dalton Knecht – Tennessee

Tyler Kolek – Marquette

Xaivian Lee – Princeton

Caleb Love – Arizona

Kevin McCullar – Kansas

Tristen Newton – UCONN

Great Osobor – Utah State

Jahvon Quinerly – Memphis

Antonio Reeves – Kentucky

Baylor Scheierman – Creighton

Jamal Shead – Houston

Isaiah Stevens – Colorado State

AJ Storr – Wisconsin

Wade Taylor IV – Texas A&M

Ja’Kobe Walter – Baylor

Shahada Wells – McNeese State

Lute Olson National Player of the Year Award all-time winners

2010 – Sherron Collins (Kansas)

2011 – Kemba Walker (UCONN)

2012 – Doug McDermott (Creighton)

2013 – Shane Larkin (Miami)

2014 – Dough McDermott (Creighton)

2015 – Cameron Payne (Murray State)

2016 – Denzel Valentine (Michigan State)

2017 – Caleb Swanigan (Purdue)

2018 – Jalen Brunson (Villanova)

2019 – Ja Morant (Murray State)

2020 – Payton Pritchard (Oregon)

2021 – Luke Garza (Iowa)

2022 – Johnny Davis (Wisconsin)

2023 – Jaime Jaquez Jr. (UCLA)