Hawaii coach Eran Ganot said Monday night that freshman guard Drew Buggs will redshirt the season.
Buggs, who’d returned to close to full health coming off offseason right ACL surgery, will not play in the team’s upcoming Big West Conference games. He will strictly be a practice/scout team player until 2017-18.
UH (6-7) surely could’ve used the 6-foot-2 combo guard’s services in the backcourt — he’s been an effective scorer in practice the last couple of weeks — but Ganot said the decision was reached though conversations between the player and his family and the coaching staff.
He’d started practicing in full in mid-December.
When Buggs, out of Long Beach Poly (Calif.) High, did not suit up against Delaware State after the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, the direction of the decision pointed to holding him out the rest of the way. Ganot still called it a “day to day” situation until Monday.
UH departs for the mainland for the first time all season today, for games at Cal State Fullerton on Thursday and UC Irvine on Saturday. Redshirting players do not travel on the road.
UPDATE: Here’s Buggs in his own words on the redshirting decision.
“It was a decision I made after talking to the coaching staff and my family, I felt it was best to redshirt to allow me to get in better shape and be at my best come the start of the season next year, I felt as if I could compete but didn’t feel quite ready, I want to be at full strength when I return.”
Buggs is actually traveling to the mainland for this UH trip while school is still out, as is Mike Thomas. Ex-Bow Aaron Valdes, who is recovering from an injury, is also expected to attend the Fullerton game.