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Penn State interested in former top-100 player in the transfer portal

The former top-100 forward could be a good fit for Mike Rhoades’s new-look Nittany Lions.



Former top-100 player in the transfer portal, Penn State
Nov 12, 2021; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers forward John Hugley (23) drives past West Virginia Mountaineers forward Dimon Carrigan (5) during the first half at WVU Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

State College, PA — Mike Rhoades has been busy in his short time in Happy Valley. On Sunday, Rhoades landed his first transfer portal commitment from A-10 Player of the Year Ace Baldwin. An integral piece of his VCU Rams, Rhoades called Baldwin the “head of our snake” for his new-look Nittany Lions. With only three other scholarship players on the roster, Baldwin is the first transfer of what will be a very busy portal season for Penn State. And a short drive west from State College, there is a former top-100 player in the transfer portal who soon could be getting a call from Mike Rhoades and the Penn State basketball staff. 

Former top-100 player John Hugley enters transfer portal

Last month, Pitt forward John Hugley entered the transfer portal. Hugley committed to the Panthers as the second-ranked player in Ohio and the 99th overall player nationally for the class of 2020 according to 247 Sports. The Cleveland native brings massive size to the floor with a 6-9, 265-pound frame. While only playing eight games due to a knee injury last year, Hugley was a significant factor for Pitt in the 2021-22 season. Two years ago, he averaged 14.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game over 32 games. 

Multiple reports indicate the Pitt transfer is drawing interest from several teams, including Memphis, Oklahoma, Nebraska, West Virginia, Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech, UCF, Arkansas, and Penn State. Hugley visited Georgia Tech in March. On3’s Joe Tipton reported last week that the Pitt transfer will visit Nebraska and West Virginia later this month. 

Should Mike Rhoades make a push for the Pitt transfer? 

With three years to play, Hugley strikes a balance of experience and eligibility remaining for his next team. He also brings the size and production that Penn State desperately needs underneath. In addition, relocating to Happy Valley would allow Hugley to remain close to home.

But unlike Baldwin, Mike Rhoades doesn’t have an existing relationship with Hugley. If Penn State basketball wants a shot at landing the former top-100 player, Rhoades must get Hugley on campus soon. 

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