Charles Buggs, a 6-foot-8 forward from Chatham (VA) Hargrave Military Academy who signed with Minnesota in the early signing period, has been relatively unknown to even the most die-hard Gopher fan. However, that is about to change as the former Texas native enrolled at Minnesota for summer school and is playing in the Howard Pulley Pro-Am Summer League.
Buggs helped lead Hargrave to a 38-1 mark, losing to Brewster Academy 87-76 in the National Prep Championship Game. Buggs led Hargrave with 15 points as he made four three-poiunters.
Buggs played for Arlington (TX) Martin and helped lead the team to a 17-14 mark as a high school senior. Buggs graduated with a 3.7 GPA and was fully NCAA qualified, but decided to attend prep school to get more recruiting looks.
Buggs played for the Triumph Select White AAU program last summer and averaged 18.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game in July during the open recruiting period, which caused many colleges to take notice.
Gopher Hole: How is Minnesota treating you so far?
Charles Buggs: It is a different experience. It is more freedom being away from home. It is a good experience.
Gopher Hole: Do you think that having that one year from away from home at a prep school helped you?
Charles Buggs: Oh, yes, especially with maturity. That was the main reason that I went up there. My grades were fine. Just maturity stuff.
Gopher Hole: How much do you think that playing against high-level players, even in practice and playing a tough schedule with junior colleges has helped you improve as a player?
Charles Buggs: That helped because the kid that I was guarding (Montrezi Harrell) is committed to Louisville, so him and I used to go out there every day. It helps a lot. We had a good season, too. 38-1.
Gopher Hole: Playing against that type of competition, what did you really focus on to improve yourself as a player.
Charles Buggs: Mostly, I like to shoot, so I was trying to help myself with my post game, so I can post up, especially in the Big Ten.
Gopher Hole: Since you are from out-of-state, most Minnesotans have never seen you play. How would you describe yourself as a player?
Charles Buggs: I like to shoot. That is what I am used to. Ever since I was a little kid, I could shoot. I have been in a little bit of a slump lately, so I am going to work on that again. Shooting. I like to penetrate a little bit. I can dunk, so I have some athleticism, too.
Gopher Hole: You are a long, athletic player who seems to get his hands on the balls. Is that something you like to do defensively?
Charles Buggs: Defensively, I am not scared. I can guard anyone. I am not scared of anyone. I can guard guards. I can guard the post. I don’t have a problem guarding anyone.
Gopher Hole: How is school going so far?
Charles Buggs: It is going fun. It is actually pretty fun, especially in the summer. It is helping me get ready. Getting into the system and the curriculum. I am taking Public Speaking and Literature of the U.S., talking about a lot of the history back in the day. It is a pretty good class.
Gopher Hole: You are rooming with fellow freshman Wally Ellenson. How is that going?
Charles Buggs: We are good friends. We are always hanging out. I am trying to get him to out more. Because he likes to stay in, so I am trying to get him out more.
Gopher Hole: What are the expectations for your freshman season? The Gophers have a lot of talented frontcourt players who play the same position as you. What is your feeling about playing or possibly redshirting? Have you thought about that?
Charles Buggs: I want to play, so we’ll see how it goes. Mostly, I need to work on my post game, so that is going to be the big thing this year. Keep on shooting and work on the post game and ballhandling.
Gopher Hole: When you came out of high school you were getting some looks, but obviously, you got more looks after playing at Hargrave. If I had told a year or two ago that you would be playing in the Big Ten, would you have been surprised by that?
Charles Buggs: No. No. It was just different because the school that I was at we didn’t have any coaches ever come down to the gym and we had a good season that year. The coach really helped me at Hargrave.
Gopher Hole: If you hadn’t gone to Hargave, where do you think that you would have landed?
Charles Buggs: Probably redshirted at Missouri or Fresno State. Mostly because the summer after my senior year that is what turned me loose.
Gopher Hole: How about playing in the Howard Pulley Pro-Am Summer League. I know that a lot of Gopher fans wanted to see you last week, but I think that you had some school obligations. How fun was it to be out here with a couple of future teammates?
Charles Buggs: It was different because I haven’t played basketball on the court competitively for awhile. It was different, so I have to get back and get used to it.
Gopher Hole: Are you going to be out here a lot the rest of the summer?
Charles Buggs: Yes. We should be out here the rest of the time.