Winthrop senior guard Keon Johnson, a graduate of Mansfield Senior, has been voted the Big South Conference Men’s Basketball Preseason Player of the Year by the league’s head coaches and media panel, it was announced recently at the conference’s Basketball Tip-Off Media Luncheon at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Convention Center in Concord, N.C. Johnson is the first Winthrop player to earn the preseason honor since Torrell Martin in 2006-07.
Johnson is coming off a season where he was a First-Team All-Conference selection after averaging 18.7 points, including 20.2 in Big South play. Last year’s runner-up for the Player of the Year award, he was the Big South’s third-leading scorer in 2015-16 and was second in league-game scoring. A three-time Big South Player of the Week selection a season ago, Johnson was the first Winthrop player to average 20.0 points in Big South games, and finished the year with 13 20-point efforts, including five games with 30 points. He shot 45.1 percent overall from the floor, was 78-of-199 from three-point range ( =39.2 percent) and was an 83.3 percent shooter from the charity stripe in 2015-16. Johnson, named NABC First-Team All-District 3 last season, also averaged 4.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists for the Eagles. He poured in 10 three-pointers and 36 points in a victory at Charleston Southern last season, and made at least four 3-pointers in a game seven times. His 165 free throws were the most in the conference as well as the second-highest total in Winthrop history. Johnson received 19 of the 30 first-place votes and finished with 284 points in the balloting to earn the top spot on the preseason All-Conference team.
Source: Big South Conference