Johnson returning to UF

The Gators basketball program received a jolt of energy on Wednesday afternoon when forward Keyontae Johnson announced that he will not enter his name into the NBA Draft and will return to college for another year.

It is still unknown when/if Johnson will be cleared to play again following his on-court collapse at Florida State in December.

Johnson, who has two years of eligibility remaining, led the Gators with 14 points per game in 2019-20 and finished second with 7.1 rebounds per game. He also led the team with 38 steals. He posted eight double-doubles during the season. He became the third Gator since 1996 to post a 25/10/5 stat line when he scored 25 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and dished five assists versus LSU.

Johnson was named a first team All-SEC performer by the coaches and a second-teamer by the media. He was named the Preseason SEC Player of the Year prior to the 2020-21 season. He averaged 16 points and 4.5 rebounds in four games prior to his collapse.

Johnson returned to the program in a coaching-like role over the final couple months of the season. He was also permitted to do some light shooting work in practice.

He would be a huge addition to the Gators’ roster next season if he’s cleared to play. He’s the best player on the team, as he’s able to score at all three levels, rebound at a high level and adequately defend three positions.

There had been some speculation that Johnson would explore the NBA Draft or finish his college career elsewhere. That will not be the case.

Ethan was born in Gainesville and has lived in the Starke, Florida, area his entire life. He played basketball for five years and knew he wanted to be a sportswriter when he was in middle school. He’s attended countless Gators athletic events since his early childhood, with baseball being his favorite sport to attend. He’s a proud 2019 graduate of the University of Florida and a 2017 graduate of Santa Fe College. He interned with the University Athletic Association’s communications department for 1 ½ years as a student and has spent the last two football seasons writing for InsideTheGators.com. He is a long-suffering fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tampa Bay Rays. You can follow him on Twitter @ehughes97.