How does Meechie Johnson fit with Bruce Thornton in the Ohio State backcourt?

Jake Diebler brought in Meechie Johnson from the transfer portal to the Ohio State basketball team. The biggest concern is whether he will he fit with Bruce Thornton in the backcourt.

Mar 14, 2024; Nashville, TN, USA;  South Carolina Gamecocks guard Meechie Johnson (5) against the
Mar 14, 2024; Nashville, TN, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks guard Meechie Johnson (5) against the / Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports
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The good news keeps on coming for the Ohio State basketball team as yesterday Jake Diebler landed a transfer from portal, and he’s a very familiar face. Meechie Johnson is coming back to Columbus for his final season of college basketball.

Getting Meechie Johnson to transfer back to Ohio State is Jake Diebler’s first big splash as head coach of the Buckeye basketball team. With also getting the return of Bruce Thornton, the immediate question is will these two work well together in the backcourt?

Meechie Johnson is an experienced scorer and will bring a boost of energy on offense for next year’s Ohio State basketball team. In two seasons at South Carolina, Johnson averaged double figures in points in both seasons. This season his average went up to 14.1 points per game, which ranked 18th in scoring in the SEC.

We know Johnson can put the ball in the bucket, however, so can Bruce Thornton. Thornton led the Buckeyes in scoring this season with 15.7 points per game on 42.7% shooting from the field.

One area where these two guards are different is that Thornton is better at getting his teammates open looks. Thornton’s passing ability progressively got better as the season went on. In four of the last five games he tailed seven or more assists, and in two games he recorded double digits in assists.

That is where I think this backcourt will be able to work. Thornton will be the orchestrator of the offense, creating opportunities for teammates, but taking slightly fewer shots. Then have Johnson be the main scorer of the offense.

The Ohio State basketball team is still a few pieces away from being a top-25 team next season, but the addition of Johnson gets them closer. The backcourt of Bruce Thornton and Meechie Johnson can be one of the best backcourts in the Big Ten next year as long as Diebler can make them fit.

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The Ohio State basketball team still has some spots to fill for next year’s roster, so don’t expect this to be the only transfer Diebler lands. Follow us on Twitter, @ScarletandGame, to stay updated on all the latest Ohio State basketball recruiting news.