MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Kedrian Johnson is entering his third and final season with the Mountaineers.
Once one of the top junior college scorers in the country, the veteran point guard is coming off a season in which his defensive prowess vaulted him into a starting role.
Johnson started all but two games last year, averaging 5.3 points, 1.7 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. His effort on the defensive end is important, but being an improved scorer is crucial to the Dallas native.
“Yeah, I bring the defensive side to the table, but this offseason I really worked on my offensive game,” said Johnson. “I’m shooting it better, I’m handling the ball a lot better. I’m really doing what they brought me in to do my first year here.”
As a sophomore at Temple College in Temple, Texas, Johnson ranked fourth in the country in scoring average at 25.5 points per game. The following season, his first at West Virginia, he averaged just 1.3 points in 26 games played.
He improved his scoring as a senior during the 2021-22 season but finished a game in double figures just four times.
“Last year, with that season we had, afterward I felt like I could’ve [done] more to help. So, this offseason, I really focused on my offensive game,” Johnson added.
Entering his fifth and final year of college basketball, Keddy is a veteran on a team with six seniors and fifth-year seniors, zero juniors, and eight underclassmen. He is also one of just five players who were on the roster a season ago.
Being one of the most experienced players on the roster, Johnson has taken on a leadership role.
“Now I got the job to help the younger [guys], help them figure out what they need to do, and how to help them get on the court,” Johnson said. “I take pride in that role. It means a lot, because a lot of the young guys I’m, really close with. I treat them like little brothers. So, I love that role.”
Johnson admits he likely wasn’t ready to be a leader, or the team’s starting point guard, last season. Though, he does believe that last year’s team-wide struggles, especially in the second half of the season, have prepared him for this season.
His play in his senior campaign resulted in something else: his return to the program.
“It was a bad year. I just didn’t want to end like that, so I decided to come back,” said Johnson. “I’m a person, I pay attention to signs, and when all our teammates started transferring into the portal, that’s a sign that I need to come back.”
The fifth-year senior could have joined those former teammates, but he remains a Mountaineer.
“When I needed them, [WVU] was there for me,” Johnson said of the program. “So, when I saw all the guys left, I was like, ‘I’m not going to be one of those guys.’ Loyalty is a lot, and [West Virginia] was loyal to me, so I’m going to do another year with [WVU].”