#106 Washington State Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

Washington State Cougars
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #106
Conference Rank: #10 Pac-12
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Washington State has ended up right around the .500 mark during Coach Kyle Smith’s two seasons leading the program. The results in the Pac-12 have been less flattering though with an 11th place finish in 2019-2020 and a tenth place finish last year. This year could be more of the same with the departure of top scorer Isaac Bonton, but there are also some talented new pieces that could lead the Cougars charging up the standings.
2020-21 Record: 14-13, 7-12
2020-21 Postseason: None
Coach: Kyle Smith
Coach Record: 30-29 at Washington State, 194-151 overall
Key Departed Players:
Isaac Bonton, Guard, 17.7 ppg
Andrej Jakimovski, Forward, 5.5 ppg
Aljaz Kunc, Forward, 6.3 ppg
Volodym Markovetskyy, Center, 2.4 ppg
Myles Warren, Guard, 2.1 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Noah Williams, Junior, Guard, 14.1 ppg
Efe Abogidi. Sophomore, Forward, 8.9 ppg
Dishon Jackson, Sophomore, Center, 7.2 ppg
DJ Rodman, Junior, Forward, 6.1 ppg
TJ Bamba, Sophomore, Guard, 4.2 ppg
Ryan Rapp, Junior, Guard, 3.5 ppg
Tony Miller, Senior, Forward, 1.9 ppg
Carlos Rosario, Sophomore, Forward, 0.3 ppg
Key New Players:
Kim Aiken Jr, Senior, Forward, Transfer from Eastern Washington
Will Burghardt, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Linfield
Matt DeWolf, Senior, Forward, Transfer from Brown
Michael Flowers, Senior, Guard, Transfer from South Alabama
Mouhamed Gueye, Freshman, Forward
Jefferson Koulibaly, RS Freshman, Guard
Tyrell Roberts, Junior, Guard, Transfer from UC San Diego
Washington State is going to win games this year with their defense. Efe Abogidi and Dishon Jackson are both shot blocking threats and the sophomore duo is brimming with potential. Both proved to be consistent scorers around the basket as well and Abogidi can even step out and knock down some three-pointers. Noah Williams is the team’s top returning scorer with 14.1 points per game. He also added 2.7 assists and 1.6 steals. Wing DJ Rodman hit 41.1 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc and should be in line to get more shooting opportunities in 2021-2022. A couple of the new transfers will make a huge impact. Kim Aiken Jr. is the reigning Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year and will fit right in with the Cougars. The 6-7 small forward averaged 11.3 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks with the Eagles last season. WSU hopes South Alabama transfer Michael Flowers can fill much of the scoring void left behind by Bonton’s departure. Flowers tallied an impressive 21.0 points per game with the Jaguars last year and has eclipsed the 15 point plateau in each of his two previous seasons. If Aiken and Flowers can pick up where they left off, this will be a Washington State team that will be extremely difficult to beat since they will play tough defense and should have enough offensive firepower to put a scare into even the best teams in the Pac-12.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.6 (242nd in nation, 10th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.4 (90, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 41.1 (295, 12)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.5 (68, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.7 (124, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.1 (154, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.0 (173, 9)
Rebound Margin: 3.2 (74, 5)
Assists Per Game: 12.1 (236, 10)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.2 (302, 12)
Madness 2022 NBA Draft Rankings:
#30 Mouhamed Gueye
Madness 2021 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#79 Mouhamed Gueye