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Sports >  WSU basketball

South Alabama’s Michael Flowers, the top available scorer in the transfer portal, commits to Washington State

April 10, 2021 Updated Sat., April 10, 2021 at 9:49 p.m.

South Alabama’s Michael Flowers looks to move past a defender during a game against Louisiana-Monroe.   (Scott Donaldson/South Alabama Athletics)
South Alabama’s Michael Flowers looks to move past a defender during a game against Louisiana-Monroe. (Scott Donaldson/South Alabama Athletics)

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 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 left. The 588 points he scored last season in the Sun Belt were fourth among all Division I players.

In a note posted to his Twitter account, Flowers wrote: “First and foremost I want to thank God for allowing me the opportunity to play the game I love. Second, I want to thank coach Rilley, the coaching staff, and the University of South Alabama for accepting me with open arms. Even with the extreme circumstances this past season I felt I got better on and off the court and it prepared me for what the future holds. After long consideration, I have decided to use my extra year of eligibility to commit to Washington St. University. I want to thank coach Smith and staff for giving me this opportunity and I’m excited for this upcoming year. #GoCougs #ForMyFamily”

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, who’ll have one year remaining, should make an immediate impact next fall for the Cougars, who are coming off their first winning record since the Ken Bone era. Although 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 Flowers was also a high-level scorer in the Mid-American Conference, 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 3-point shooting efficiency and rebounding while playing a career-high 37.2 minutes per game. While scoring 21 ppg, he posted a 3-point shooting clip of 38.8% and averaged 4.3 rebounds. 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 was a Division II All-American at USD and averaged 19.2 ppg in his most recent season (2019-20) and shot 46.3% on 3-pointers.

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