Malik Pugh, who spent his freshman collegiate season at UNC Wilmington after a standout career at nearby Dyer County High School, has signed with the University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball program.
Pugh will have to sit out the 2015-16 season because of NCAA transfer rules but will have three years of eligibility remaining at UT Martin.
“We are very excited about adding Malik to our program for three years,” Skyhawk head coach Heath Schroyer said. “He’s a young man that I recruited when I first got here. He’s a good, young point guard who can do all the things that we love – he can dribble, pass and shoot it.”
Standing at 6-1 and 165 pounds, Pugh saw action in 27 games last season at UNC Wilmington under head coach Kevin Keatts. The Seahawks posted an 18-14 overall record with a 13-7 mark in Colonial Athletic Association play on their way to an appearance in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.
Pugh averaged 2.8 points and 1.1 assists while shooting 45 percent from the floor (31-for-69) in 9.3 minutes per contest. He cracked double-figures in scoring three times, including career-highs of 16 points (8-for-10 shooting), six assists and three steals in 21 minutes at VMI on Nov. 22. He also tallied 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting with six assists in 21 minutes against St. Andrews on Dec. 3 and scored 10 points in 19 minutes at Minnesota on Dec. 27.
“UT Martin is closer to home and it’s important that my family can come watch me play,” Pugh said. “Coach Schroyer is a great coach and I know he will put me in the best possible situation to succeed. He will help take my game to the next level as we compete for conference championships and make further history at UT Martin.”
Pugh averaged 20 points, four rebounds, five assists and three steals during his senior campaign at Dyer County High School under head coach Derek McCord, concluding his career with 1,003 points. The Choctaws finished 23-7 and advanced to the Class AAA Sectionals during Pugh’s senior season.
Pugh set the DCHS single-game scoring record with 47 points in the season-opener of his senior season. He also had an impressive performance in the Penny Hardaway Hoopfest, pouring in a combined 64 points in two games – 33 points against traditional national power Chicago Simeon and 31 points against Harrisburg – on his way to Most Valuable Player honors at the event. He also scored 37 points in the Class AAA sectional playoff game against nationally-ranked Hamilton High School.
Pugh’s successful senior season came after he helped guide the Choctaws to the state championship game as a junior in 2012-13. He earned TSSAA All-Tournament honors after scoring a team-best 13 points in the state finals against Southwind as DCHS wrapped up its season with a 31-4 record.
Pugh becomes the first player in this year’s signing class at UT Martin. The Skyhawks return nine players from last season’s record-setting team who went 21-13 while advancing to the Final Four of the CIT.