Men’s basketball signs Buggs and Ellenson

Charlie Armitz

Charles Buggs and Wally Ellenson have signed National Letters of Intent to play men’s basketball for the Gophers, the Minnesota men’s basketball program announced Wednesday.

Buggs, a 6-foot-8 forward from Arlington, Tex., reportedly chose Minnesota over offers from Arkansas, Charlotte, Clemson, Marquette, Santa Clara, Seton Hall and West Virginia.

Buggs is in his first season at Hargrave Military Academy after graduating from Martin High School, where he averaged 11.4 points per game last season. He averaged 18.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists as a member of the Triumph White AAU team this July.

“We needed some depth inside with the impending graduations of Ralph (Sampson III) and Trevor (Mbakwe) and Charles Buggs will give us that depth,” Gophers head coach Tubby Smith said in a release. “He’s a multi-faceted player that can play the swing position or power forward. He’s long and lanky, with a similar build to players we’ve had in the past, that can defend multiple positions.”

Ellenson is a 6-foot-4 guard from Rice Lake, Wis., who averaged 21.2 points per game during his junior season at Eau Claire Memorial High School. ESPN ranked him the 35th-best shooting guard in the country.

“Wally brings a work ethic, a competitive spirit and the athleticism that’s rare in a guy that has the complete package,” Smith said in the release. “He can shoot with range, can put it on the floor, has incredible leaping ability but also excels on the defensive end.”

Both recruits will be eligible to play during the 2012-13 season.