Morgantown, West Virginia – Back in 2019, the West Virginia coaching staff was all over one player in particular to be the next star forward for the Mountaineers – John Hugley IV. Hugley, a 6’9 265 pound power forward from Cleveland Ohio, was a four star recruit at the time who ultimately ended up choosing to play for the Pitt Panthers.
Last season, Hugley was the Panthers’ leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 14.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. This season, however, was a very different story. A preseason knee injury forced him into only appearing in 8 games, averaging 8 points and 3.6 rebounds per game before deciding to sit out the rest of the season in December to “rehabilitate his mental and physical health.”
Hugley released the following statement in December: “Panther Nation, thank you for your continued support through a challenging year for me mentally as well as physically. I want nothing more than to be on the court with my teammates, however due to an injury and my mental health being a priority; after long discussions and talks with my coaches, family and mentors, I have decided the best course of action for me will be to sit out the remainder of the season to fully invest in healing mental as well as physically.”
Today, Hugley announced that he has officially decided to enter the transfer portal, saying, “It is with careful consideration given to my mental and physical health, and after multiple conversations with God, myself and my family, I have decided to enter my name in the transfer portal. I believe God has set forth an amazing path for me and will continue to watch over me on my next journey.”
When Hugley was a senior in high school, he put West Virginia in his Top 12 schools. Hugley, a former Top 100 player and four star recruit, ultimately narrowed his list to Kansas State, NC State and Pitt. However, he was heavily recruited by the Mountaineers and is very familiar with the West Virginia coaching staff. Although West Virginia failed to land him three years ago, playing for Bob Huggins would be a perfect situation for him to step into to prepare him for a future of playing professional basketball.
John Hugley issues a statement, per @TiptonEdits on Instagram. pic.twitter.com/P3qEDjZZh5
— George Michalowski (@MichalowskiCBB) March 14, 2023