Despite the current losing streak they’re currently mired in, the Pitt basketball team has improved and made progress from Jeff Capel’s first season. But they are still missing a couple of key pieces which will allow them to truly compete in the ACC.
Along with more team depth, the biggest thing that the Panthers are missing is a difference maker in the paint to provide them scoring and who will take pressure off and open things up for their guards.
The man that Capel and many Pitt fans hope will fill that need was in town on Saturday for their game against Virginia. 4-star center John Hugley (6’9″, 240) made the drive from Cleveland, Ohio to check out his future team.
PSN caught up with Hugley this morning who, despite the loss, was very encouraged by what he saw and can’t wait to suit up for Capel and the Panthers.
“Yesterday was such a great environment,” Hugley told PSN. “I got there and it was so great because everyone knew me. Some many people in the crowd and the fans all knew me and showed me so much love.”
Hugley has been a visitor to Pitt many times over the last year but now that he’s committed to Pitt, that love he received from the Pitt fans on Saturday and on social media since his commitment has him motivated to do great things in Oakland.
“All of this is motiving me to do so much better and to continually try to improve my game. Knowing that I have so many people already looking up to me, motivates me to do better so that I can do great things at Pitt so we can win. I don’t want to let the fans down and want to be great.”
Hugley is having a phenomenal senior season at Brush High School where he’s averaging 22 points, 12 rebounds and 4 rebounds per game and is a serious candidate for Ohio’s Mr. Basketball. Despite concentrating on his own team, Hugley is keeping an eye on his future team and realizes that his skillset is something that will be a welcome addition next season.
“I don’t feel pressure,” says Hugley, I just feel like this is going to be a great opportunity for me to come in at Pitt and do what I need to do to and hopefully help them out.”
“This season it’s been fun. First off, I want to thank my teammates and coaches for helping me out. I’ve just stayed patient with the process, I’ve worked out hard and listened to my coaches which has allowed us all to have a great season.”
As we wrapped up our talk, Hugley had a message for fans about the future of Pitt basketball.
“We need you to be patient which will help us. Be patient with us and don’t give up.”