As the start of college basketball season draws near, we’ll be looking back on Pitt’s returning players and see what we can expect from them this season.
Last Season: 14.8 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.3 apg, 47.1 fg%,
Career Highs: Points 32 (1/8/22 vs Boston College), Rebounds 18 (1/25/22 vs Syracuse), Assists 6 (2/12/22 vs NC State), Steals 3 (12/28/21 vs ND, 1/30/22 @ Boston College) Blocks 2 (3x), Free Throws Made 15 (1/8/22 vs Boston College) Field Goals Made 10 (11/9/21 vs The Citadel)
After last season’s All-ACC honorable mention performance, John Hugley IV returns to lead the Panthers’ frontcourt once again. Hugley is at his best with his back to the basket, with a plethora of post moves to lose defenders. His footwork is above average. Hugley shot over 70% from the line last season, which is an impressive number for a center. Rebounding is also a strength, particularly on the offensive end.
Coming into this season, I would like to see Hugley improve his play facing the basket as well as his jump shot. With the shooters Pitt should have, Hugley doesn’t need to knock down threes. But if he can show the ability to knock down open 16-footers, it should help with spacing. As always, there are a lot of talented players in the ACC so a 1st team selection would be tough, but I think a second-team nod for Hugley is well within reach as the leader of a much-improved Panthers squad. Hugley suffered a knee injury in practice but is expected to be ready for the season opener.