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New to the Zoo: John Hugley commits to Pitt

The Cleveland native is a consensus four-star recruit

It was about a year ago that Jeff Capel and the Pitt coaching staff were first linked to John Hugley, a then-unranked center out of Brush High School in Lyndhurst, Ohio, and on Friday, that year-long recruiting effort paid off, as Hugley ⁠⁠— now a four-star talent ⁠— announced his commitment to Pitt.

“I would like to thank God, my family, my coaches and my teammates,” Hugley told a crowd at Brush High School on Friday afternoon. “Without these people, I wouldn’t be here today. With that being said, I would like to announce that I am continuing my education and basketball career [at Pitt].”

Hugley’s decision came just a few weeks after he wrapped up an official visit to Pitt. According to Rivals, it was his fifth time visiting Pitt’s campus. The most Hugley had visited any other school was once.

The 6’8”, 240-pound recruit holds four-star ratings from each of the three major recruiting sites. Rivals and 247Sports both consider him one of the top 100 players in the country, but ESPN places him outside of its ESPN100 ranking for the 2020 class.

Over the course of his recruitment, Hugley reeled in 26 offers and pared that list down to a final 12 on July 22. He then trimmed that list down to a final three of Kansas State, NC State and Pitt on Oct. 2. Other contenders from his top 12 included Cincinnati, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Missouri, Nebraska, Penn State, UConn and West Virginia.

During his junior season at Brush, Hugley averaged 16.1 points, 12.6 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game. In addition, he played in Nike EYBL competitions with All Ohio Red over the summer and averaged 9.2 points and 6.8 rebounds over 13 games.

With his commitment, Hugley joins a 2020 recruiting class heavy on frontcourt talent, as Capel previously added power forwards Noah Collier and Max Amadasun. The three will join Terrell Brown and Karim Coulibaly up front for Pitt, and Hugley is expected to be a key contributor for the Panthers early in his career.