Johnson Selected Big 12 Newcomer of the Week for Fourth Time


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Courtesy of K-State Athletics

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.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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