Elijah
Hughes
Position: SG
Height/Weight: 6-6 / 215 lbs
School/Club: Syracuse
Status: Junior
Birthday: 03/10/1998

DRAFT TRADE: Traded to Utah Jazz in exchange for future second-round pick and cash considerations

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About Elijah Hughes

Elijah Hughes is a skilled jump shooting wing who seldom left the floor for Syracuse as a junior shouldering a significant offensive role as a shot creator.  Widely regarded as a top-200 recruiting following his senior year at South Kent School (CT), he spent his freshman year at East Carolina before transferring back to his native New York to play for Head Coach Jim Boeheim at Syracuse. 

Stepping into a starting role as a third-year sophomore, Hughes really came on strong as a junior this season averaging 19 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 3.4 assists over 36.7 minutes per game to earn All-ACC 1st Team honors and a spot on several ACC Player of the Year ballots.

  • Standing 6-foot-6 with a developed 215-pound frame and solid length, Hughes has decent size for a wing and is a good all-around athlete.  He is more strong than shifty, but a better leaper than one might expect with a head of steam.
     
  • An aggressive scorer with deep range as a set shooter and an advanced midrange game, Hughes carried a heavy offensive burden for the Orange.  Creating his own shot extensively out of isolation and pick and roll situations, hunting shots in transition, and never hesitating to rise and fire in spot up situations, he scored in bunches some nights. Flashing some ability as a passer, Hughes needed to score for Syracuse to be competitive and his shot selection reflected that at times.
     
  • Playing on the back line of Syracuse’s zone, Hughes showed some physicality chipping in on the glass, but did not have to defend on the ball frequently as a junior.

Defensive Analysis

  • Playing in the back of Syracuse’s zone, Hughes played a different role defensively than all but a handful of draft prospects in recent years.  In his best moments he showed timing and physicality to chip in as a rim protector and rebounder. 
     
  • Making an effort to close out hard on shooters but recognizing those rotations earlier in some instances than others, almost 90% of the possessions he guarded were spot ups—typical for wings in zones.
     

Career Highlights

  • 2019-20 All-ACC First Team selection.
  • 2019-20 All-District pick by both the NABC and USBWA.
  • Selected to the 10-man midseason watch list for the 2019-20 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award.
  • ACC’s leading scorer in 2019-20. SENIOR (2019-20)
  • Averaged an ACC-high 19.0 points to go with 4.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.16 steals.
  • Scored in double figures in 30 of 32 games.
  • Led the ACC in total minutes (1,175) and field goal attempts (465).
  • Scored a career-high 33 points at Georgia Tech (Dec. 7).
  • Set a career high in field goals made (11) as part of his 28-point effort at Boston College (March 3).
  • Recorded 19 points, nine rebounds and nine assists vs. Niagara (Dec. 28), one rebound and one assist shy of becoming the first Syracuse player to have a triple-double since 2001.
     

Strengths

  • Athletic wing with a well-rounded skill set.
  • Explosive finisher and has deep shooting range.
  • Solid passer and rebounder.
  • Moves well without the ball.
     

Personal

  • Played one season at East Carolina before transferring to Syracuse. Sat out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA transfer rules.
  • Has an extensive sneaker collection.
  • Wants to coach basketball after his playing career.

Quotable

“He is just a complete player. He does more than just score. He makes plays, he rebounds, he can push it up the court. I think he is the best player in the [ACC] and I’ve been saying that for a while.”

-Syracuse teammate Buddy Boeheim