CENTER STAGE: Elijah Hughes has always been a dangerous contributor. Now, he’s Syracuse’s most important player.

first_imgElijah Hughes strolled into a mostly vacant Carrier Dome around 5 p.m. on Saturday, two hours before Syracuse’s Oct. 26 exhibition against Division II Daemen College. At 7 p.m. Hughes would pull off his warm up shirt, rustle his hair and SU’s star would showcase a remodeled version of himself — one with a three-level game and an unselfishness to get his teammates involved in a 24-point performance that SU head coach Jim Boeheim said “could have (been) 40.”The talk around Hughes’ expanded role picked up in the months following last season. Tyus Battle left for the NBA Draft. Oshae Brissett followed. SU coaches told Hughes he needed to “be that guy,” a leader it can rally around.“I’ve always had a knack for talking,” Hughes said, laughing.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut Hughes doesn’t deny his lack of experience as a primary option — he hasn’t been in this position in almost five years. Three years after the redshirt junior arrived at East Carolina labeled a “steal” in the high school recruiting cycle, Hughes assumes the role of Syracuse’s most formidable offensive threat and a leader thrust into the position.,He didn’t receive a scholarship for prep school, entered the next year as a young role player at a mid-major and two years after that served primarily as an off-ball scoring threat on a Syracuse team that relied heavily on Battle’s isolation play. The soft-spoken guard’s ability to go unnoticed was perhaps his most dangerous skill. Now he’s expected to be the loudest, the center of attention to open up the floor.“It really kind of took me off guard,” Hughes said. “A lot of young guys that come speak to me — they don’t know something in the zone or on a play — they come to me right away … This is my first time being a leader at a high level.”From a young age, Hughes’ calm nature was one of his more defining traits. He blended into the halls at school, his middle school principal Brian Archer said, but remained aware of his image. He wore pink shoes. He cycled through different hairstyles. In the seventh grade, he bragged to his eventual Beacon (New York) High School coach, Tom Powers, that he would play varsity as an eighth grader.In his final year of high school, a few of his teammates joined in on South Kent’s annual “Thriller Dance,” where volunteers don zombie makeup and dance to Michael Jackson’s famous Halloween tune. So Hughes, who South Kent prep school head coach Kelvin Jefferson said didn’t put himself above other students despite his basketball talent, joined his classmates in the dance.“Well, shoot, I haven’t seen (Hughes) shy,” his South Kent and former Syracuse teammate Matthew Moyer said.Despite his seemingly unmatched assurance, his game always exhibited a heightened maturity. He played multiple years above his grade level every season until his junior year of high school. Though his youth often led to sacrificing leading roles, Powers said, Hughes assumed a majority of the responsibility for poor team performances. In the back of his parents’ car after losses, he’d pop in his headphones and go silent.When Hughes was in 10th grade, his team lost in the semifinals of the Boo Williams AAU tournament in Newport, Virginia. Unable to control his own emotions from the loss, he noticed a kid on the bus who wasn’t crying. He seemed not to be upset at all. His father, Wayne, said Hughes didn’t always understand: He assumed everyone was always on the same page. For Hughes, leading became an effort to create a singular focus on winning — to make his teammates want what he wants.“When it comes to pressure situations, (Hughes) is not as up-and-down,” Wayne said. “He has an innate ability to stay at a certain level.”But his three Division I seasons had yet to provide him with that same starring opportunity. He struggled with injuries his freshman year at ECU and was unable to play due to NCAA transfer rules upon arriving at SU. For the Orange last season, he produced a solid 13.7 points per game. His best offered the Orange an offensive and defensive spark, but the game rarely ran through Hughes.,His progression at Syracuse was slower than Boeheim expected. He rarely made moves to take defenders to the rim off the dribble and Boeheim even said in February Hughes “wasn’t ready” to do so. His shot blocking and shooting gave momentum to the Orange at times, but inconsistency, a limited repertoire on drives and the presence of other stars made his performances less integral to each game’s outcome.Though Hughes claimed the preparation for this year’s role required “a different mold,” he crafted a training regimen that highlighted his strengths. “Mommy, I got to go get the buckets,” Hughes quipped to his mother, Penny, when he returned home this summer. Wayne and Penny joked they only saw him for dinner, and much of the time was spent updating Hughes on happenings within the family that he might’ve missed.As he worked back into a practice schedule at Syracuse, Hughes took 200 to 300 shots before and after practice. He spent a large portion of the time expanding his moves from the midrange and working to improve his handle so that he is “more aware.” On the court, where Hughes tries to echo the voice of the leaders that left the team last season, Wayne said he relies on direct, short, “two or three word conversations” with teammates. He’s not “physical” or “poetic” when he speaks on the court, so sometimes it goes unnoticed.“I try to talk to him as much as possible,” freshman Brycen Goodine said. “It’s not visible to everyone else, but he talks a lot.”,This past June, Hughes paced back-and-forth outside the gymnasium at Beacon Middle School. Once someone who needed extra attention from teachers to ensure he filled out his planner and stayed organized, Archer said, Hughes was invited to speak to around 90 students about the importance of school and not wasting opportunities.“I haven’t done this too often,” Archer remembered Hughes said to him. “I’m a little bit nervous.”“The kids just want to hear what you have to say,” Archer responded. “Do your best and it will go fine.”Hughes opened the door and a room of third, fourth and fifth graders erupted. He spoke for about 30 minutes. Sometime early in the speech, Hughes shifted his nervousness to a quiet confidence.Students wanted him there. They wanted to listen. To them, Hughes is a celebrity. As he walked out of the building, Penny noticed Hughes’ familiar strut.“I think I made all the points I wanted to make,” Penny remembered Hughes said to her.Those around Hughes express an unassuming confidence about his ability to lead Syracuse — or any team. Coaches, family and friends are seemingly insulted by the questioning of his ability. The noise, the expectations, the hope — when the ball is tipped against Daemen, it’s all there. But Hughes feels no need to tune any of it out.“Pressure?” Hughes asked when he was questioned about his expanded role. “Nah. I’m just playing basketball.”,Banner photo by Corey Henry | Photo Editor Comments Published on November 2, 2019 at 9:12 pm Contact Michael: mmcclear@syr.edu | @MikeJMcCleary,Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.last_img read more

Russia has chance to make mark at World Cup with another win

first_imgWinfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film Russia goalkeeper Andrei Lunyov attends Russia’s official training on the eve of the group A match between Russia and Egypt at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the St. Petersburg stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, Monday, June 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)MOSCOW — With or without Mohamed Salah in the lineup, Egypt should give Russia an indication if it has any shot at making a mark in this year’s World Cup.Russia dismissed Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening game of the tournament, but the lopsided victory failed to show if the team is actually good enough to succeed in international competition. The Saudi team did put up much of a fight, so any questions about Russia’s readiness were left unanswered.ADVERTISEMENT Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial 2 Koreas agree to march together at Asian Games View comments Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations MOST READ China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate fallscenter_img Salah hasn’t played a game since May 26 and will have fresh legs if he gets on the field against Russia.The match is at 9 p.m. (2 p.m. EDT; 1800 GMT) at St. Petersburg Stadium.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Either way, the Russian team understands that one victory from its next two Group A matches can put the team in the knockout round. A win over Egypt in St. Petersburg on Tuesday, coupled with an Uruguay victory over Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, would be enough for Russia to advance.But Egypt understands it is in a must-win situation following its 1-0 loss to Uruguay. Salah, nursing a shoulder injury, did not play in the opening match. The decision not to use him could have centered on protecting him from the physical Uruguayans, but with the tournament on the line, the Liverpool striker will almost certainly play.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSalah is Egypt’s star player with 33 of the team’s 57 goals, and he scored 44 goals in 51 games for Liverpool.“Of course he stands out, but obviously we’re not up against a single player,” Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov said. “I believe in my players. We are ready to do this and we will do this.” LATEST STORIES DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’last_img read more

Minibus fare increase another burden – FITUG

first_imgThe Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) has labelled the $20 across-the-board increase in minibus fares, expected to be active by September 1, a burden on the beleaguered working people.Dislocated minibuses parked outside Ashmin’s and Silvie’s Variety Store on High Street, GeorgetownThe union on Monday expressed its dissatisfaction over the fare hike, expressing that “it was disheartening for us that the Government, it seemed, did not take cognisance of what impacts the increases would have on the pockets of the working people.”According to FITUG, although it accepts that the operators have found themselves in a difficult position, taking into consideration the ban on used tyres and increases in the costs of licences and fitness in addition to other increases, the new increases, depending on the route, could work out to as much as a 25 per cent hike in fares.The Union pointed out that it believes the new fare structure would now require workers and their families, depending on the number of buses they would have to take, to fork out as much as several thousands more per month on transportation, though promised a ‘Good Life’ by the ruling Coalition Government.“Naturally, we expected the Administration would have sought to see what assistance the State could have lent to easing the woes of the bus operators, without placing additional burdens on our people. This is the approach any responsible Government would take as it seeks to protect its people’s well-being,” FITUG stated.Moreover, the Union asserted that it had high expectations of the Government to do ‘what is right and decent’. “Certainly, the Coalition had several possible fiscal measures at its disposal, but rather ‘uncreatively’ passed on the increased costs to hapless, overburdened Guyanese”, the agitated Union noted.In addition to the hike on minibus fares, FITUG also complained of the impending hike in water rates, which it said are being saddled on to the backs of our overburdened working people.The union added that while the administration boasts of high economic growth, “we find many of our people cannot cope with the pressures of life. This is not a healthy situation, and one we urge the Administration to pay careful attention to.”About one week ago, the Business Ministry announced that minibuses in the various routes would be benefiting from an additional $20 from each passenger, beginning on September 01.According to the Business Ministry, a new fare structure would be made available to minibus drivers, who would then be responsible for displaying same in their buses.President of the United Minibus Union (UMU), Eon Andrews, has said he is satisfied with the Ministry’s decision to implement a $20 increase. He said, “It might not be a lot, but we are satisfied.”The President of the Minibus Union had in June submitted a proposal for not only a fare increase, but for several other requests to ease the pressure on minibus operators.Although the call for a fare increase came at a time when fuel prices were constantly escalating, Andrews had noted that the call for the additional money was not only due to the fuel prices, but to several other issues. Because of this, the Union’s President said, even if the fuel prices were to be lowered, he would not be willing to drop the transportation costs.last_img read more

Cross Country Set To Compete At Oz Memorial

first_imgThe Oz Memorial, hosted by the University of Minnesota, is named in honor of former Bulldog head coach, Gary Osborne. The women’s 6-kilometer race will begin at 6:30 p.m. followed by the men’s 4-mile race at 7 p.m. on the Les Bolstad Course in Falcon Heights, Minn. Minnesota, Wisconsin and South Dakota State are among those in attendence expected to challenge the Bulldogs.The Bulldogs are finishing up their second week of hard training with the Oz Memorial serving as another step in preparing the young team to compete through training and build fitness for the championship portion of the season. The Drake University men’s and women’s cross country teams continue their 2016 season at the Oz Memorial on Friday, Sept. 9. Junior Bailee Cofer (Overland Park, Kan.) led the young women’s team with an 11th place finish followed by three freshman, including Mykaela Cole (Urbandale, Iowa) who finished 35th in her first collegiate race. Both the men and women finished eighth as a team in the season-opening outing.center_img Last week, senior Reed Fisher’s (Minnetonka, Minn.) second place finish with a time of 17:59.5 at the Hawkeye Invitational earned him the Missouri Valley Conference Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week honor. Fisher was also named the Eagle Bank MVC Men’s Student-Athlete of the Week. Following the Oz Memorial, members of the team will compete in the Grand View Invitational in Des Moines and the Woody Greeno/Dirksen Invite in Lincoln, Neb. Both invitationals are scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 17. Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more