Elijah Hughes to enter name into NBA Draft

Elijah Hughes to enter name into NBA Draft

Hughes earned first-team all-ACC honors this past season.
Published: March 24, 2020
Syracuse University vs. University of Virginia
Hughes led the ACC in scoring this past season.

Redshirt Junior Elijah Hughes has entered his name into the NBA Draft. Hughes is likely a second-round talent per most NBA mock drafts. He averaged a conference-high 19 points per game. He also ranked sixth in the conference in free throw percentage and third in three-point field goals at just under 2.5 made per game. He ranked top-15 in assists per game as well.

Hughes was also named to the first-team all-conference. He beat out and made the same team as several top-level NBA prospects. At 6’6 with a strong handle and pull-up game, Hughes projects as a bench scorer in the NBA. He’ll likely play shooting guard at the NBA level with his 215 lb. frame.

The drawback for Hughes in terms of potential lies in his age. At 22 years old, Hughes will be one of the older players in the draft. It’s quite possible that not a single 22 year-old will be taken in the first round of this year’s NBA draft.

Hughes marked his redshirt junior season with some outstanding performances: 28 points on Oklahoma State, 33 on Georgia Tech, 25 on Florida State one of the best defensive teams in the country this season, and 27 against North Carolina in what could prove to be his last game in a Syracuse uniform should he enter the league.

 

As players like Tyus Battle and O’Shae Brissett left Syracuse last season, there was certainly a growing concern about scoring with this year’s team. The Orange aren’t always a pretty team to watch offensively and after they scored 34 points in the season opener, that concern over scoring grew. Hughes then stepped up. He became the motor for the offense all season. And if the Orange were going to score above 60 on any given night, Hughes was likely needed to turn in an all-conference-like performance. And he did, often. That’s why Syracuse stayed afloat this season, and it’s why he earned first-team honors. If he does indeed complete his move to the NBA, he’ll be missed.

 

Avatar for Jack Schlafly

is a contributor to The NewsHouse at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.