Gophers coach Tubby Smith has looked at this lineup plenty, and as such, had a hard time finding a place in it for freshman forward Charles Buggs. A redshirt sounded pretty good.
After all, with Trevor Mbakwe and Mo Walker returning, Elliott Eliason coming off a season where he impressed late and senior Andre Ingram making significant improvements, the depth seemed almost stifling for a freshman with no experience.
Oh well, what's one more.
After two exhibition games, the freshman has shown enough that Smith wants to see some more immediately, figuring he'll be able to help the team.
"He came in and played well the other night," Smith said. "We were looking at redshirting him, that’s something we considered for both he and Wally, because you’re concerned about the minutes that they’re going to get during the course of the season.
"But he’s a gamer. He’s a guy that when he gets on the court – he really performed well the other night."
Smith said Buggs will still need to gain weight. Buggs said on media day that his goal was to gain 10-15 pounds this season.
Other notes from tonight's media access:
- Smith said Buggs has been dealing with a sinus issue, but he practiced today, and should be ready to play tomorrow in the regular-season opener against American.
- The same lineup -- Andre Hollins, Joe Coleman, Austin Hollins, Rodney Williams and Elliott Eliason -- will be starting tomorrow as started the exhibitions, Smith said. "I like the way those guys are playing together," he said.
- After two exhibitions, Smith said his biggest concerns for this team remain: turnovers (they had 14 against Minnesota State and 17 against Southwest Babtist), rebounding and outside shooting (which we haven't seen much of yet).
- Smith said he planned to sub in players one or two at a time instead of the mass substitutions that have marked the two exhibition games as well as most of last season. "I say that, but it may change," he said.
- Asked whether this team was his best team so far at Minnesota, Smith said: "We’ll have to wait and see. We’ve got as much talent as we’ve ever had. Whether it’s the best team, I’ll answer that in April and they can answer that too. That’s our job, to get them to a point where they can reach their potential and I believe we have a team that can compete for championships."