Stephen Vilardo’s WSU Semifinal NIT Stat Preview

A win over Texas A&M would get the cougars into the finals of the NIT for the first time ever

Posted on March 29, 2022

  By Stephen Vilardo, SuperWest Sports

The Pac-12 may not have gotten a men’s team past the second weekend in the NCAA Tournament, but the Conference still has one team playing during the last week of March.

Washington State (22-14) has made it to New York for the semifinals of the NIT and a Tuesday night matchup against Texas A&M (26-12). The Aggies are the final No. 1 seed remaining in the field and will be the second of the top seeds the Cougars face.

WSU dismantled SMU in Dallas ending the Mustangs’ 19-game home-court win streak. The Cougs followed that up with another road win over BYU in Provo, where the home team had won 13 of 15.

In the win over BYU, Michael Flowers broke Klay Thompson’s WSU record of 98 made three-pointers in a single season, set in 2011.

Flowers now sits with 100 triples on the season. In the three games of the NIT, he has scored 19.3 points per game while connecting on 45.2% of his shot attempts.

The Cougars find themselves in the New York for the NIT semifinals for the first time since 2011, and their 22 wins on the season are the same as that Klay Thompson-led squad.

A 23rd win would get Washington State into the finals of the NIT for the first time ever.

The Cougars have been stingy defensively in the NIT allowing their three opponents to just 57.0 points per game—7.7 points lower than their season average.

Washington State’s Dishon Jackson |Scott G Winterton/Deseret News via AP

Texas A&M has amassed 26 wins on the season, the third-most in school history and have gone 10-1 in their last 11 games, with the lone loss coming to Tennessee in the SEC Championship game.

The Aggies are 10-7 all-time in NIT games but are just 4-5 in Tournament games played outside of Bryan-College Station. This is the first time Texas A&M has ever advanced to the final four of the NIT.

In the quarterfinals, A&M held Wake Forest to just 15 first-half points. In the opening 20 minutes, the Deacons shot just 14.8 percent from the floor, their worst shooting half since 2011.

Tyrece Radford is averaging 11.0 rebounds per game in the NIT for Texas A&M.

Washington State has an offensive rebound rate of 32.6 percent on the season, which is helping to get the Cougars an average of 5.9 more scoring chances per game than opponents, the eighth highest in the nation.

During the NIT, the Cougs are getting an average of 8.3 more chances than opponents per game. Texas A&M is getting an average of 3.2 more scoring chances than opponents on the season.

The Aggies are third in the nation with a steal on 13.9 percent of opponent possessions. Texas A&M is eighth in the nation, forcing a turnover on 23.3 percent of opponent possessions.

Efe Abogidi has had at least one blocked shot in 20 consecutive games and averages 2.7 blocked shots per game in the NIT, and 2.8 in his last four games played.

Tale of The Tape

72.7Points Per Game71.9
66.2Points Allowed P/G64.7
35.5Rebounds P/G37.1
+0.8Rebound Margin+2.0
.442Field Goal %.407
.414Field Goal Defense.413
.3283-Point %.338
.3183-Point Defense.309
.703Free Throw %.750
13.7Assists P/G11.3
13.2Turnovers P/G11.1
+3.8Turnover Margin+2.9
1.0Assist/TO Ratio1.0
3.4Blocked Shots P/G4.6
10.2Steals P/G6.5
18.6%Turnover Rate16.0%
23.3%Opp. Turnover Rate20.2%

Follow Stephen on Twitter @StephenVilardo and his organization @SERCenter.

Visit his website at

—More from Stephen Vilardo—