Johnson to return to Florida for junior season

Florida sophomore Keyontae Johnson. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

After a breakout sophomore season that saw him earn All-SEC First Team honors prior to the NCAA Tournament’s cancellation, Gators forward Keyontae Johnson is coming back to Florida for the 2020-21 season. 

“Dear Gator nation I want to thank everyone for being with me doing this decision,” Johnson wrote on his social media accounts. “And I can’t wait to get back and play with my brothers again next season! We’ve got unfinished business & the Gators will be ready to go. I’m excited to keep growing on and off the court with Coach White and our coaching staff here & keep playing in front of the Rowdy Reptiles & Gator Nation! Everybody stay safe & Go Gators!”

The native of Norfolk, Virginia, led Florida in scoring with 14 points per game this past season while chipping in 7.1 rebounds per game. 

While the Gators struggled at times, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Johnson rarely did.

He showed noticeable improvement on the offensive end throughout the season while improving as an all-around defender. Thanks to additional work in the offseason, Johnson displayed an improved shooting touch from long-range and maintained his gradual improvement as a decision-maker, resulting in a 7.4 percent improvement in Johnson’s field goal percentage from his freshman campaign. 

White consistently praised the steps Johnson took both on and off the court after a promising freshman season. 

“Very good player getting better and better. You guys have been asking about him for a couple of months. His confidence has grown, his skill level has grown, his feel, his tempo. We’ve had no drama with Keyontae and that’s been a factor, too. He just comes to work,” UF coach Mike White said on March 10, prior to Florida’s departure for the SEC Tournament that was ultimately canceled. “He hasn’t had one of those days that he is really whiny. He hasn’t had one of those days where he is just real selfish and he is trying to get his in a game. He hasn’t had a day where he just didn’t feel like working.

“It’s pretty simple, he is giving himself a chance to get better and better through maturity and consistency. His parents are great. They’re continuously checking in on him and if he has just an average day, he is hearing about it. We always talk about these guys’ circles and we’re always challenging, keep your circle really healthy. Often times young men, especially at his age, freshmen, sophomores, benefit from their circle and he has a strong  circle as well. So proud of him and his progress.”

Johnson follows freshman guard Scottie Lewis in announcing a return to UF, which now awaits the decision from rising junior point guard Andrew Nembhard, who entered the NBA draft process last year before withdrawing his name and returning.


  1. Thanks K. Johnson! We gotta’ get a vaccine for the Commie virus from China. This team has to play, it’s dangerous! ”Championships are FOREVER!” -Coach Spurrier.
    And Coach White, ”the expectations” are rising everyday. Go Gators!

  2. Yeah, Johnson coming back is a huge get and if Nembhard also comes back, it could be a team to be reckoned with come March 2021. I’m also excited to see the evolution of Scottie Lewis. The Gators could be a team with multiple stars next year.