Pitt commit John Hugley is just over halfway through his senior season at Brush High School in Lyndhurst, Ohio, with 11 of 20 games in the books and the Arcs’ record sitting at 9-2. The team’s success is due in large part to Hugley, who has averaged a double-double in that span and contributed significantly with big plays on both ends of the court.
The 6’9”, 240-pound power forward has been an absolute force on offense, as he is averaging 22.9 points, 15.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists. He has also managed to shoot over 40 percent from three-point range. In addition, he has been a fierce rim-protector, with 1.6 blocks per game in the 2019-20 season.
Hugley’s consistent outstanding play has him in contention for the title of Mr. Basketball in Ohio in 2020. Last season, Hugley averaged 16.1 points, 12.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game and earned first-team all-district honors in addition to honorable mention for All-Ohio honors as a junior.
For Pitt head coach Jeff Capel’s purposes, Hugley’s performance suggests he will be able to transition seamlessly into the Panthers frontcourt as a first-year starter, provided he is able to stay healthy and maintain this level of play over the next few months.
Last year, Pitt’s frontcourt was its weak link, and it put the team at a disadvantage in many ACC matchups. That issue has been less pronounced this season, as Terrell Brown has matured and UNC Greensboro graduate transfer Eric Hamilton has acquitted himself well in his first year with a Power Five team.
However, with Hamilton’s eligibility set to expire at the end of this season, Hugley is likely to slide into his complementary role and ease into Pitt’s system as a freshman. The Cleveland-area star is Pitt’s highest-rated frontcourt recruit since Michael Young, who committed to Pitt as a four-star prospect on Aug. 4, 2012.