K.D. Johnson becomes 9th player to leave Georgia this year

Georgia basketball player K.D. Johnson (0) goes up for to score two of his 12 points in Wednesday night's 91-86 win over Auburn at Auburn Arena. Johnson was one of six Bulldogs to score in double figures. (Shanna Lockwood/AU Athletics)
Georgia basketball player K.D. Johnson (0) goes up for to score two of his 12 points in Wednesday night's 91-86 win over Auburn at Auburn Arena. Johnson was one of six Bulldogs to score in double figures. (Shanna Lockwood/AU Athletics)

Credit: Shanna Lockwood/AU Athletics

Credit: Shanna Lockwood/AU Athletics

ATHENS -- Well, it’s official. Georgia is going to be a brand new basketball team next season. That became fact with Tuesday’s news that K.D. Johnson has entered the NCAA’s transfer portal.

ExploreP.J. Horne confirms he will stick with Bulldogs

Johnson, a 6-foot-1 guard, was the last of the Bulldogs’ regulars from last season to make a decision on whether to stay. It had long been rumored that he intended to leave. With the completion of spring semester this week, Georgia’s most dynamic offensive player is gone.

Johnson becomes the ninth player from coach Tom Crean’s third Georgia team to seek a new destination for next season. He was the Bulldogs’ second-leading scorer with 13.5 points per game after missing the first 10 games because of academic-qualification issues.

Crean issued a very pointed statement.

“Given the standards and expectation of Georgia basketball, we wholeheartedly agree with K.D.’s decision to seek a new program,” Crean said. “We certainly wish him the best and really hopes he finds success in all areas.”

Crean lauded Johnson for his classroom performance last fall, which he needed after coming up short meeting academic requirements for freshman eligibility. Johnson, who attended Southwest DeKalb High School, spent a year at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia to improve his academic standing before signing with the Bulldogs.

He never started for Georgia, but filled the role of offensive catalyst and sixth man coming off the bench. Playing his first game against Auburn in the Bulldogs’ 11th game of the season, Johnson played an average of 22.5 minutes in Georgia’s final 16 games of the year. He shot a team best 38,.7 percent from 3-point range.

Both Johnson and graduate Andrew Garcia are simultaneously looking for a school to transfer to while also weighing overseas professional options.

As for the 2021-22 team that remains, there is very little left to recognize. Senior P.J. Horne, who announced over the weekend his plans to return for a fifth season, is the Bulldogs’ only starter and regular to return for next season. Starters Sahvir Wheeler, Toumani Camara, Justin Kier and Tye Fagan are among the other four starters and nine players overall who entered the portal.

That’s the most in the SEC, but not markedly more. Between players in the transfer portal and those considering professional options -- such as Garcia and Johnson, Wheeler also is working out for pro teams – the league has seen a total of 102 players leave their respective teams. That’s an average of 5.4 player per team in the portal and 7.3 overall leaving each conference team.

GEORGIA BASKETBALL 2021-22

P.J. Horne** F 6-6, 230 Sr. Tifton

Josh Taylor F 6-9, 215 RFr. Atlanta

Jonathan Ned F 6-8, 215 Sr. Brentwood, Calif.

Tyron McMillan F 6-9, 220 Jr. New Orleans

Jabri Abdur-Rahim* G 6-7, 214 So. South Orange, NJ (Virginia)

Noah Baumann* G 6-6, 215 Sr. Phoenix (USC)

Braelen Bridges* F 6-10, 235 Sr. Atlanta (Illinois-Chicago)

Jailyn Ingram* G 6-7, 219 Sr. Madison (Florida Atlantic)

Dalen Ridgnal* F 6-6, 200 Jr. Kansas City, Mo. (Cowley CC)

Kario Oquendo* G 6-4, 180 So. Titusville, Fla. (Fla. Southwestern)

Camron McDowell G 6-5, 170 Fr. Powder Springs

Tyrone Baker F 6-9, 190 Fr. Missouri City, Texas

Christian Wright G 6-3, 180 Fr. Atlanta

* Transfers

** ‘Super senior’ does not count against NCAA 13-scholarship maximum

GONE VIA TRANSFER

1. F Jaykwon Walton, 6-7, 205, So., Columbus

2. G Sahvir Wheeler,* 5-10, 180, So., Houston

3. G Christian Brown, 6-6, 215, So., Hopkins, S.C.

4. F Toumani Camara, 6-8, 220, So., Brussels, Belgium

5. G Tye Fagan, 6-3, 195, Jr., Logtown

6. G Mikal Starks, 6-0, 185, Jr., Miami

7. G Justin Kier, 6-4, 190, Gr., Grottoes, Va.

8. F Andrew Garcia,* 6-6, 225, Gr., Bergenfield, N.J.*

9. G K.D. Johnson, 6-1, 190, Fr., Atlanta

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