WMU hoops star Michael Flowers cuts transfer list to four; Broncos add Virginia prep standout

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Western Michigan basketball star Michael Flowers is moving west.

Just how far west remains the question.

Flowers, in a Twitter post Saturday, said he has narrowed his list of potential transfer schools to four — Cal, Iowa State, DePaul and Santa Clara.

Michael Flowers.

"I want to thank Western Michigan University and all of my coaches, teammates, fans, professors and faculty members who helped me be successful these past three years," Flowers, a former Southfield A&T star, posted. "I'm forever grateful for having the opportunity to attend Western Michigan.

"I have grown on and off the court in my time there."

Flowers, a 6-foot-1 guard, led the Broncos in scoring this past season, at 17 points per game. He started all 32 games, averaging 32.2 minutes.

The team's second-leading scorer, forward Brandon Johnson, also is transferring, to Minnesota.

Johnson is a grad transfer and will be eligible to play right away, while Flowers also has one year of eligibility left and tentatively would have to sit, though an NCAA appeal could get him a waiver to play immediately.

Those are big blows for new head coach Clayton Bates, a longtime assistant who got the job after Steve Hawkins was dismissed, but wasn't able to keep the program's pieces together.

A season earlier, Flowers also started all 32 games, averaging 15.7 points.

Western Michigan has added four players to its recruiting class, despite Bates' limited recruiting abilities, given the coronavirus shutdown across college sports. Earlier in the week, Western Michigan announced the additions of graduate transfer Greg Lee from Cal State-Bakersfield, junior-college transfer Jaylon Holmes from Lincoln Trail College in Illinois, and Houston high-schooler Daylan Hamilton.

Then, on Friday, Bates added Virginia prep star Josiah "JoJo" Freeman, a guard who was ranked the No. 17 recruit in his state by 247Sports. Freeman was limited to nine games during his season season, but averaged 14.9 points and shot 47 percent from the field and 3-point range.

Western Michigan, with a young roster, was 14-19 this past season.

In other state college basketball news, Oakland guard Tray Maddox Jr. announced he will transfer to Cal State-Fullerton. Maddox was one of six Golden Grizzlies in the transfer portal after the season ended. Maddox has two years of eligibility remaining.

Also, Eastern Michigan announced the signing of transfer Bryce McBride, a 6-2 guard from Dyersburg State Community College in Tennessee. He averaged 24.2 points this past season, and will have two years of eligibility remaining. This is his third school; he started at Motlow State CC, also in Tennessee.


Twitter: @tonypaul1984