In news that really should only be surprising because it took this long to develop, Charles Buggs is apparently transferring for his final season.
Gophers senior-to-be Charles Buggs will graduate this summer and transfer elsewhere to use his remaining year of eligibility, a source with knowledge of the situation told the Star Tribune.
Buggs, who needs to complete an internship in order to earn his degree, will be eligible to play for another team this fall under the NCAA’s graduate transfer rules.
Buggs is the second player to transfer out of the program since the end of the season, along with Kevin Dorsey. These transfers seemingly are for very different reasons however. This decision is likely based on playing time and Buggs having the opportunity to play significant minutes somewhere else.
So What Does This Mean?
In terms of scholarships available, not much really. This opens up a scholarship for this coming season but does not create an additional scholarship for anyone to come into the program who is not also a graduate transfer. Adding a late graduate transfer is possibly, though I'd classify it as unlikely. Currently the staff still has 2 available scholarships to work with for the 2017 recruiting class.
In terms of playing time and rotation, this will leave a void of some minutes but honestly not very many. With incoming freshman Eric Curry, newly eligible Davonte Fitzgerald, incoming grad transfer Akeem Spring, freshman Amir Coffey and assuming Reggie Lynch regains his eligibility (this is clearly an assumption)...there were going to be far fewer front-court minutes for Buggs at PF or SF.
This leaves the program void of any returning seniors (Akeem Springs coming into the program now as the team's only senior). This will be a young team looking for leadership from a junior class and quick development from the freshmen and sophomores.
update with quotes from Coach Pitino and Buggs.
“It has been a pleasure to coach Charles over the past three years and see his continued development and growth as a basketball player and a person,” Pitino said. “Charles has always represented the University with class and I am especially proud of him graduating. He has a bright future in basketball and life ahead of him, and will no doubt find success wherever he goes.”
"I want to take the time to thank everyone including our coaching staff, and especially Minnesota fans for their support and efforts throughout my time here,” said Buggs. “Being part of the University of Minnesota athletic program, I was able to not only make friends but formulate a new family that helped me grow as an athlete and a person. I will always support the University and Minnesota and hope to get the opportunity to give back to the school and the athletic program as much as it has given me."
Best of luck to Mr. Buggs as he pursues a graduate degree and has the opportunity to play basketball one more season.