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By THE HUSTLE, 11/20/18, 7:00PM EST


THE PLAYER: John Buggs III, 6’3” PG/Wing, Putnam Science

Buggs is the type of young man that winning coaches want in their program. He sets the tone with his work ethic, contagious energy and a personality that unites people from all walks of life. He simply makes your program better before he even steps on the court. 

While he’s a pleasure to deal with off the court, he’s an absolute menace while he’s on it. Buggs has the ability to put points on the board in a hurry and he never seems fazed by the environment or the moment. He gets into passing lanes, has a nose for the ball and confidently finishes in transition. With a 6’3” frame that has room for an additional 10-15lbs of muscle, Buggs can defend multiple positions and should be viewed as an asset on that end of the floor before his college career is over.

THE PROGRAM: UMass (A-10 Conference)

Matt McCall has an idea of the way an offense should be run and the defining characteristics it should have. Passion, fluidity, versatility and toughness are some of the most important. As far as the type of skillset he values, McCall has been pounding the pavement looking for shooters ever since he arrived in Amherst. Spreading the floor is essential in today’s game but when you can extend the floor, it allows you to become more creative on the offensive end and opens things up for everybody on the court. That’s when a coach like McCall can really do some damage. Now that McCall has Buggs and Preston Santos to add to a strong 2018 recruiting class, the identity of the UMass program is really starting to take shape and it’s something that Minutemen fans should truly be excited about. Skilled, unselfish, low-maintenance, high-caliber athletes aren’t easy to come by but McCall has collected a handful in his first few classes.

THE FIT: Buggs brings passion and energy by the boatload. Combined with his ability to knockdown shots from the perimeter, he should be able to carve out a role in the UMass rotation sooner rather than later. 

Buggs III is the type of player that makes your program better before he ever steps on the court...but he’s also automatic offense as soon as he does!