Missouri men’s basketball received its second offseason commitment on Sunday from Hawaii graduate transfer point guard Drew Buggs.
The 6-foot-1 Buggs will fill the final scholarship spot for the Tigers for the 2020-21 season should the three MU players who have declared for the NBA Draft – but retained collegiate eligibility (Jeremiah Tilmon, Xavier Pinson and Mitchell Smith) – all return to Columbia.
Buggs joins Ed Chang as new additions to Missouri’s roster via the transfer portal. The 6-foot-8 Chang originally played for San Diego State as a freshman but most recently played for Salt Lake Community College.
Buggs is immediately eligible for his final college season as a graduate transfer. The Long Beach, California, native’s final three choices were Missouri, Iowa State and Loyola Marymount.
Buggs averaged 9.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game during his redshirt junior year at Hawaii, earning all-Big West Conference honorable mention honors for the second consecutive season.
He started all 31 games for the Rainbow Warriors this past season and has started 68 games overall at Hawaii. Buggs scored a season-high 25 points last November against San Francisco.
Buggs entered the transfer portal last month but didn’t take any official visits because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I felt (Missouri) checked a lot of the boxes I was looking for,” Buggs told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “They’re looking for me to come in and contribute immediately. I have a good relationship with the staff. I felt comfortable and confident it was the best fit for me.”
Missouri’s final member of its 2020 recruiting class is incoming freshman Jordan Wilmore, a 7-foot-3 center from Georgia.
Missouri used both Dru Smith and Pinson at the point guard position last season.
Buggs’ shooting percentage was at 36.2% from the field and 26.2% from 3-point range last season, both lower than Missouri’s averages as a team. The Tigers shot 41% from the field and 29.7% from 3-point range.
Missouri had two open scholarships for the 2020-21 season that needed to be filled this offseason because of the transfers of Mario McKinney Jr. and Tray Jackson.
Should no Tiger depart for the NBA, the program would have six players with one year of eligibility remaining entering next season: Buggs, Tilmon, Mitchell Smith, Dru Smith, Mark Smith and Axel Okongo.
FOOTBALL VIRTUAL REUNION: Chase Daniel, like many others, is looking for a good way to pass the time.
The former Missouri quarterback has developed an idea that will do just that Friday — not only for him but also for Tiger football fans.
Daniel plans to hold an online event called “Chase Chats — The Reunion,” in which he and as many as 10 former teammates from the 2007 Tigers will reconnect during a chat that will be streamed at 7 p.m. on Facebook (OfficialChaseDaniel) and Twitter (@Chase Daniel).
“I’m so excited for this chat,” said Daniel, who recently signed with the Detroit Lions. “My time at Mizzou was transformational for me and my teammates and certainly the 2007 season was a big part of it. This will be a great way to catch up with a bunch of guys and have fun talking about such a memorable season. I’m confident our fans will enjoy it just as much as us.”
Broadcaster Mike Kelly will serve as co-host with Daniel.
Players including Pig Brown, Chase Coffman, Ziggy Hood, Jeremy Maclin, William Moore, Martin Rucker, Tommy Saunders, Tony Temple, Sean Weatherspoon and Lorenzo Williams are expected to participate.
The Tigers rose to No. 1 in the country during the 2007 season and finished with a school-record 12 wins. Six players from that team became first-round picks in the NFL Draft.
There’s more purpose to the event than pure enjoyment, however. Daniel is asking fans to consider donating to The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri and has set a goal of raising $50,000. He’s pledged to match funds up to $25,000 on his own.
“Excited about the chance for all of us to do something impactful for the Food Bank,” he said. “They do amazing work for the community that has such a special place in my heart, and in this time of need, I hope fans will help us do something special for them.”
Fans can donate to the Food Bank online at www.sharefoodbringhope.org/chasechats.
NEW FOOTBALL SERIES: Mizzou has agreed to a three-game football series with Florida Atlantic University beginning in 2027, the schools announced Tuesday.
The Tigers and Owls are scheduled to play three times in a five-year span, beginning with a game in Columbia on Oct. 2, 2027. Following a two-year hiatus, the teams will play in Columbia on Oct. 12, 2030, and then Sept. 20, 2031 in Boca Raton, Fla.
The series will mark the first football meeting between the two programs.