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Minnesota Basketball: Golden Nugz 2.27.14 - Everyone Loves Buggs!

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The newest Gopher fan favorite has been a little shy following his impressive performance against Iowa.

Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

A Buggs Life

Heck yes I recycled the GIF joke from Tuesday night's comments! Anyway, Amelia put together a nice look at Charles Buggs and his emergence from the depths of the Gopher bench.

With Gophers forward Oto Osenieks struggling through a left knee injury (the power forward has a cartilage issue from a prior surgery), Pitino already had made the decision to go with Buggs, and five minutes into the game, he subbed him in for Joey King.

What followed next would have been hard to predict.

Despite playing only two-plus minutes through all of the Big Ten schedule up until that point, Buggs — who the university has said is not comfortable speaking to the media — had nothing but confidence.

After missing the first shot he attempted, Buggs got open in the corner, and took the pass from Andre Hollins.

Swish.

It was only the second three-pointer of his career, but he was only getting started.

Buggs, on behalf of everyone who watched the game on Tuesday...

Tumblr_llsioce0nu1qhkzxd_medium

via media.tumblr.com

(And yes, I resurrected the joke just to use that GIF) While Pitino has always been impressed with Charles' abilities...

"I’ve always said from Day 1 with Charles — he’s got the best potential of anyone on this team," Pitino said. "He comes to work every single day and he’s just growing, he’s getting better."

...there was a reason he didn't get extensive minutes in the 2nd half...

While the coach has said Buggs is the only player in practice who makes the staff stop and say ‘Wow,’ after a ridiculous no-look pass or unexpected play, but also has the capability of making the coaches said ‘Wow,’ with a very different meaning implied.

The coach didn’t play Buggs much in the second half in part because Pitino realized he probably can’t be expected to perform like that for 40 minutes every game.

While it wasn't his official debut, it was certainly a great way to announce yourself as a player to watch. 2 days later and I'm not tired of enjoying it yet.

- BUBBLE WATCH: Lunardi thinks the Gophers are safe if they win out, but that going 8-10 will require at least 1 (and possibly 2) Big Ten Tourney wins to get Minnesota into The Dance.

MOAR LINKS

- The Daily looks at the growth of the Gopher Women's Hockey team and how they overcame the personal losses the suffered after last season.

The Gophers lost two of their top three scorers from last year’s roster in Amanda Kessel and Megan Bozek.

They also had to reshape their defense, which had been depleted because of a combination of graduation and the Olympics.

And to top it all off, they had to replace All-American goaltender Noora Räty.

Fast-forward to the end of the season, and none of those questions are in the equation anymore.

The Gophers lead the country in team offense, averaging 4.79 goals per game. They have found a balanced scoring attack and have seven players with 30 or more points.

And the team’s defense has grown into a strength of the roster.

In other words, the GWH doesn't rebuild, it reloads. Brad Frost is understandably pleased:

While the team that hits the ice this weekend is the same team the Gophers started with in September, the players on the team have grown since then.

And those players have answered the many questions they faced at the beginning of the season.

"After what we lost last year, I don’t think anybody saw us going through the WCHA losing one game and tying another," Frost said. "After our first weekend at Colgate, I think everyone was wondering what the season would bring.

"They’ve just continued to grow as a team."

- Unsurprisingly the strong play from the women has resulted in increased attendance.

- The WWL B1G Blog has started positional looks at each team. So far they've done running backs and receivers/tight ends.

- More praise for Brock Vereen following his combine performance. ESPN gets on the bandwagon too.

- Shama throws some thoughts against the wall regarding a potential price increase for Gopher FB tickets. I'm going to go to my Twitter feed to explain why this is probably bunk.

- Nate Condon looks back at his career with the Gophers. Also, Don Lucia says the Gophers are healthy after their week off.

- The Daily looks at a Gopher Hockey bromance.

- Gopher men's swimming prepares for the B1G Swimming & Diving meet this weekend.

- DO YOU LIKE SAVING MONEY? THEN BUY A BIGGER PIZZA!

- Tom Izzo gets jiggy with it on a ladder. You heard me right.