Mizzou’s cold streak on the transfer market is over.
On Sunday, Hawaii point guard Drew Buggs committed to the Tigers, filling the program’s lone scholarship vacancy and supply coaching Cuonzo Market another steady hand in the backcourt. Buggs, who averaged 9.4 points and 5.4 assists last season, is a graduate transfer and immediately eligible for next season.
Buggs’ pledge comes three days after MU landed a commitment from JUCO combo forward Ed Chang, a floor-spacing big man who could upgrade the Tigers’ jump-shooting. They join post Jordan Wilmore, who committed to the Tigers’ last fall.
Landing Buggs could also serve as insurance. Sophomore point guard Xavier Pinson declared for the NBA draft last month, and if he opts to keep his name in the pool, MU would suddenly find itself in need of an additional ball-handler to pair with senior Dru Smith.
Without a doubt, Buggs, who is 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, it’s as a top-flight setup man. He excels making reads out of high ball screens. However, he shot 36.2 percent from the floor, including a chilly 26.2 percent from long range. While the sample size is small, his distribution skills held up against KenPom top-100 opponents.
Drew Buggs | Production vs. KenPom Top-100
Buggs, a California native, picked MU over Iowa State and Loyola Marymount. While it was reported in late March that Buggs might want to play closer to home, Iowa State gained traction through a family connection. His parents attended ISU, where his father, Andrew, suited up for the Cyclones on the gridiron.
However, Memphis transfer Tyler Harris committed to coach Steve Prohm on Saturday, perhaps knocking ISU out of the race for Buggs.
With Buggs in the fold, Martin and his staff await word on whether Pinson, post Jeremiah Tilmon, and combo forward Mitchell Smith will remain in the NBA draft. Each declared late last month, but it would be surprising if they passed on returning to Columbia.