BYU continues to look for a guard to add in the transfer portal and the latest target is Kent State Transfer Mike Nuga. BYU is in Nuga’s final three along with UNLV and Wyoming.
Nuga is a 6-foot-2 guard that averaged 17.8 points on 50% shooting from the floor, 38.5% from three, and 80.6% from the FT line last season as a senior. He also averaged 5.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists. Nuga played in only 13 games after suffering a knee injury in early February. I spoke with Mike and he told me that he tore his ACL in early February and had surgery shortly after. He plans to be ready for the start of the season November 9, which would be approximately 9 months after his surgery.
Mike told me that BYU first reached out a couple weeks ago and he’s had multiple Zoom calls with Coach Pope and BYU’s staff. Nuga was a force at the beginning of last year but his ACL injury likely hurt his recruitment once he hit the portal.
Nuga started his career at Eastern Florida Junior College before transferring to Portland State for the 2018-2019 season. He averaged 10.5 points at Portland State that season before transferring to Kent State. He sat out the 2019-2020 season due to transfer rules and played in the 13 games last season. He scored over 20 points in 3 of his 13 games and over 15 point in each game before his knee injury, including 20 points at Virginia. Despite playing in only 13 games Nuga was still named Third Team All-MAC.
Mike said he will make an announcement “in the next two days”, which would be by Thursday. Below is what he said when I asked when he will be ready and what he likes about BYU.
“Yea imma be ready September or October, and just the opportunity they have for me mixed with the success the team is going to have.”
At the bottom are highlights from Nuga when he scored 23 points versus Buffalo in January. If healthy, Nuga would be a big addition for BYU. He does most of his damage from the three point line, as 57% of his field goal attempts are from beyond the arc. He can still attack the basket and his 63.6 FG% on twos was 73rd nationally according to KenPom.
Nuga is an explosive athlete and would play a combo guard role at BYU, similar to what Brandon Averette did. Whatever school lands him will be taking a risk with his ACL injury, but the rewards could be huge if he is fully recovered and healthy in the season.