We are officially halfway through the year and only about a month away from the season resuming. That means another week to dissect a potential Spurs prospect. This week we will take a look at Syracuse wing Elijah Hughes. The 6-foot-6, 215-pound guard can create his own shot, defend the perimeter fairly well and handle the ball well.
Hughes started at East Carolina and transferred to Syracuse where he became an immediate starter after he sat out his redshirt season. He led the ACC in scoring this past season and was big piece of coach Jim Boeheim’s zone defense on the back side. Here are some of his stats from this past season:
- 19 PPG, 1.2 SPG, 3.4 APG, 4.5 RPG
- 42.7 FG%, 34.3 3P%, 81.3 FT%
- 113.1 ORtg, 103 DRtg
Hughes is a rangy and quick defender who has improved his speed and bettered his body over the last couple of years. His improved speed has allowed him to handle the ball better and become an enhanced shot creator. He used to purely shoot spot-up, but now he can drive to the lane, stop-and-pop in the mid-range, as well as rise above smaller defenders for a fadeaway.
While his shooting percentage might say he’s not a great shooter, he was the offense for Syracuse at times during the season. His shot selection reflected that as he was aggressive in getting his shot. He can create in isolation or off screens pretty well too. He will have to get his shot selection under control at the next level, but he will also have teammates who can actually make shots so that should be alleviated easily.
Hughes will likely be a second-round draft pick, but could be of great value if the Spurs pick in the 40s where they are currently projected. He would likely spend a year in the G-League and develop more of his game while gaining some strength. He will also need to become a more consistent shooter from beyond the arc as he could be streaky from there. When he caught fire, he just wasn’t missing that game though, so flamethrower potential is definitely on the table.