UF Men’s Basketball: Johnson Tabbed to Naismith Player of the Year Trophy Watch List

Courtesy of University Athletic Association


The preseason recognitions continue to pile up for the All-SEC junior forward.

Florida junior All-SEC forward Keyontae Johnson has been selected as one of 50 players across collegiate basketball named to the 2021 Naismith Men’s Player of the Year Trophy Watch List, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced on Thursday morning.

Johnson continues to reel in recognition prior to the 2020-21 campaign after being selected as the media’s Preseason Southeastern Conference Player of the Year on Nov. 12 and a member of the Julius Erving Award Watch List on Nov. 4. The Norfolk, Va. native heads into his third year in a Gator uniform after receiving Coaches First Team and AP Second Team All-SEC accolades a season ago. In 31 appearances in 2019-20, Johnson led Florida in points (14.1) and steals (38), while grabbing a team-high rebounds in 13 contests.

The Naismith Trophy will be trimmed to a mid-season list of 30 in early February, followed by lists of 10 semifinalists (March 4, 2021) and four finalists (March 16). The 2021 Naismith Trophy is set to be handed out at the Final Four at the Naismith Awards Brunch on April 4.

Johnson is just one of six members from SEC institutions to land on the trophy watch list.

The Gators begin their 2020-21 campaign next week at the Basketball Hall of Fame’s Bubbleville at the Mohegan Sun Arena against UMass Lowell (Nov. 25) and Virginia (Nov. 27). After an eight-game nonconference slate, Florida will jump into SEC action on Dec. 30 at Vanderbilt before welcoming LSU on Jan. 2 in their conference home opener at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.