Pugh Continues To Impress

BALTIMORE, Md. -- On Jan. 28, Terrapin Times had the opportunity to catch a fast-rising junior from Boys' Latin (Baltimore, Md.) High School in 2016 prospect Kodye Pugh.

BALTIMORE, Md. -- On Jan. 28, Terrapin Times had the opportunity to catch a fast-rising junior from Boys' Latin (Baltimore, Md.) High School in 2016 prospect Kodye Pugh. Of the Charm City prospects we have been able to study this season in evaluations, this multi-talented, 6-foot-7 small forward may have the highest upside of any yet.

Pugh was impressive from beginning to end, finishing the game with 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting, 2-of-3 three-point attempts, while adding 16 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks and only one turnover. He accomplished these numbers while sitting on the bench for the last five minutes of the game as Boys' Latin won handily over Friends (Baltimore, Md.), 81-56.

At the outset, one noticed Friends had a large team that matched up well with their counterpart physically. But it didn't take long for Pugh to make his presence felt, and for Boys' Latin to show its superior talent and coaching on this night. What we noticed first with Pugh was his long, smooth, silky demeanor, and his soft left-handed shot and long reach.

His movements on the court demanded respect from the opposition. Friends tried to double-team Pugh, but the offense was set up with picks and screens to find him an open look on every possession. He was the best player on the floor, and the coaches used this advantage to take control of the game early.

When Friends pressed full-court, Pugh was out front bringing the ball up calmly while showing his tight handle. Or if the Quakers set back in a zone, Pugh would work his way around the court using his excellent basketball IQ to find soft spots to set up open jumpers for himself and teammates.

Being the tallest player for Boys' Latin allowed their coaches to substitute freely and move Pugh in and out of the paint, on the wing or at the top of the key. He was seemingly comfortable everywhere. Pugh seemed to have an endless motor as evidenced by the fact he took no break until the game was out of hand in the fourth quarter. He gave 100 percent effort on both ends of the court.

But the Boys' Latin Lakers best attribute was getting out in transition and running, and running some more, following several Friends turnovers. The entire team runs and pushes the ball constantly. They were all good ball-handlers, used great offensive spread and were a perfect compliment to Pugh's game. A fun team to watch no doubt.

As for Pugh's defense, it excelled due to his quickness, and his long arms to cut off passing lanes and wreak havoc on zone traps and double teams. His leaping ability allowed him to dominate the rebounding game and set up some sweet breakaway dunks. Nor was he a selfish player, as he involved his entire team as shown by his assist numbers.

He would have had a few more had his teammates been ready for the ball at times. He is a leader and motivator on the court and the team responded well to his actions, both verbal and non-verbal.

Had perhaps the refs not allowed Pugh to get beat up as much in the lane and allow him some free throws, he could have easily scored 30-35 points, or more. He took a pounding underneath. But it did not stop him from retrieving every possible rebound.

Also, Pugh is not a skinny player. He needs to put on some weight for his next destination, at the highest D1 level, but he has a good body already. His frame can handle the added muscle easily.

Stanford, Maryland, Georgetown, Syracuse and a host of others have either already offered or remain heavily in the hunt, and this top student-athlete in the classroom as well will likely have his pick of the litter when it comes time to selecting a college. He has been to Maryland unofficially, while the Terps have scouted him this season and last.

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