Leading up to Pitt basketball’s first game of the season on Nov. 7, Pittsburgh Sports Now will release profiles of each player on the active roster, including the walk-ons.
We begin our All-14 series with the man in the middle:
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Height, Weight: 6’9, 265 LBS
Number: 4 (changed from last year’s No. 23)
Last year: All-ACC honorable mention. Hugley started 31 of Pitt’s 32 games last season. He averaged 14.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game down low for the Panthers. He also totaled 23 steals, 15 blocks, and seven three pointers on the year.
The storyline: Hugley is the star of the show for this year’s Panthers squad. The 6-foot-9 big man showed that he has the ability to dominate last season throughout the year, and will have even more room to control the paint this season with more talent on the outside. Look for Hugley to make a huge impact and compete for All-ACC honors while leading Pitt from the inside out.
A few weeks back, Hugley injured his knee, which kept him sidelined for recent practices as well as the recent exhibition against Clarion. Head coach Jeff Capel provided an update on Hugley’s health in the postgame press conference, saying that the hope is for Hugley to be back for opening night on Nov. 7 against UT Martin.
IN HIS OWN WORDS:
Hugley on using his honorable mention title as motivation:
“This whole offseason that was on the back of my mind, the ACC honorable mention,” he said on the Just Buckets podcast. “So every workout I am doing, I am just remembering ACC honorable mention, so I’ve got to go harder.”
Hugley on his thought process when being double-teamed:
“It’s a little bit of reading the defense. I see the double team coming, so I know I’ve got either somebody cutting or it’s going to be somebody in the corner. Basically, seeing who I can pass it to first, make the best decision without having to make a turnover.”
Hugley on improving his shooting ability this offseason:
“It wasn’t that good last season, but I know what I’m capable of. So that is a big thing I had to work on this offseason, was like, hitting the open shot. JB [Jamarius Burton] likes to drive and pass, and I know he wants me to hit that open shot for him. So just getting in the gym, getting up shots, that was the biggest thing.”
WATCH HUGLEY ON THE JUST BUCKETS PODCAST BELOW.