One of the top scorers in Division I basketball is headed to Washington State for his final year of eligibility.
Michael Flowers, who most recently scored 21.0 points per game during his lone season at South Alabama, committed to the Cougars on Saturday. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony was the first to report on Flowers’ decision, but the point guard later made his own announcement on Twitter.
Of the players still available in the NCAA transfer portal, Flowers, who began his career at Western Michigan, was the top scorer and the 588 total points he scored this past season in the Sun Belt were fourth among all Division I players.
“I chose Washington State because I wanted to play in a Power Five conference and I felt they were the best fit,” Flowers told ESPN. “The coaching staff showed a great interest in me and my goals. I like the way coach Kyle Smith allows his point guards to make plays and helps put players in position to be effective.”
The 6-foot-1, 22-year-old Flowers also averaged 4.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.6 steals while shooting 39% from three-point range.
“They are getting a player who has a chip on his shoulder and will do whatever it takes to lead a team to the NCAA tournament,” Flowers said. “I believe I will show I can be more effective and efficient in a different system in a higher conference.”
According to Givony, the All-Sun Belt first-team selection chose WSU over two Pac-12 schools coming off NCAA tournament berths, and five others from the Power Five level. The list included Arkansas, USC, Miami, Texas A&M, Florida, Colorado and Marquette.
Flowers should make an immediate impact next fall for a Washington State team that’s coming off its first winning record since the Ken Bone era. Though he hasn’t made an official announcement, point guard Isaac Bonton, the team’s leading scorer in 2020-21 at 17.7 points per game, is expected to pursue a career in professional basketball — something that could vacate a starting spot for Flowers.
A native of Southfield, Michigan, Flowers only received one Division I offer out of high school, from Western Michigan, and wasn’t given a prospect rating by 247Sports.com. Flowers was a high-level scorer in the Mid-American Conference as well, averaging 15.7 points per game as a sophomore and 16.9 as a junior.
Flowers transferred to South Alabama ahead of the 2020-21 season, improving his three-point shooting efficiency and rebounding while playing a career-high 37.2 minutes per game. Over the course of his college career, Flowers has scored 1,710 points, with at least 500 in each of the past three seasons.
The Cougars added another high-scoring guard by way of the transfer portal earlier this year when the University of San Diego’s Tyrell Roberts announced his commitment to the school. Roberts averaged 19.2 points in his most recent season (2019-20) and shot three-pointers at a 46.3% clip.