March 31, 2010

Recapping the season: Saying goodbye

MADISON - In the final part of BadgerBlitz.com's 'Recapping the season' feature, the focus shifts to Trevon Hughes, one of two seniors that have played their final game as a member of the Badgers.

By the time Hughes and fellow senior Jason Bohannon finished their career at Wisconsin, the duo were a part of 105 wins (tied for school record) and combined for 2,443 career points, the most of any back duo in UW history.

CAREER HIGHS:

-Points: 27 at Green Bay (12/9/09)
-Field goals: 9 (twice) with most recent happening vs. Duke (12/2/09)
-Field goal attempts: 19 (twice) with most recent happening vs. Arizona (11/23/09)
-3-point field goals: 5 at Minnesota (2/18/10)
-3-point field goal attempts: 12 at Minnesota (2/18/10)
-Rebounds: 11 at Illinois (3/7/10)
-Assists: 7 (twice) most recently vs. Michigan State (2/2/10)
-Blocked shots: 3 vs. Penn State (1/24/10)
-Steals: 6 (three times) with most recent happening at Minnesota (2/3/08)
-Minutes: 45 vs. Penn State (1/24/10)

CAREER NOTES:

-2010 All-Big Ten second team selection (coaches and media)
-2010 Big Ten All-Defensive team selection
-Named fifth-team All-American by The Sporting News
-Appeared in 132 games (100 starts)
-Was a part of 105 wins over career (tied for most in UW history)
-Had 15 career games of 20+ points (UW was 14-1 in those games)
-Became 34th player in UW history to score 1,000 points. He finished his career with 1,348 points.
-Was the seventh player in UW history with 1,250 points and 250 assists
-2010 Bob Cousy Award Finalist
-Big Ten Player of the week (12/7/09)
-2009 Maui Invitational All-Tournament
-2009 All-Big Ten honorable mention
-2008 All-Big Ten honorable mention

RECAPPING THE CAREER:

Freshman year:

Hughes, like Bohannon, was used sparingly throughout his freshman season. He appeared in 31 games as a true freshman, but never logged more than 18 minutes in a game. In that season, one where the Badgers would eventually rise to their first ever No. 1 Associated Press poll, Hughes provided a change of pace in the backcourt.

Instead of relying heavily on Kammron Taylor at the point, head coach Bo Ryan started to see Hughes as a suitable contributor as key minutes in that infamous No. 1 Wisconsin vs. No. 1 Ohio State match up supports.

Overall, Hughes shot 31 percent from the field and scored 42 points during his first season on campus. Still, Hughes was a solid contributor from the get go. Though he was a little erratic at times throughout the season, it came to be expected considering he was a true freshman.

Best game of year: In only the second game of his career, Hughes gave Badger fans a glimpse of the future. He scored eight points against Southern University on 2-of-3 shooting from the field. For a guard, he also collected an impressive four rebounds and drilled two 3-point shots. He broke opposing defenders down and proved he was the point guard of the future.

Hughes also had solid games as the season progressed in games against Michigan and at Ohio State, but the second game of his career epitomized the future Hughes was destined to have.

Sophomore year:

With Alando Tucker and Taylor gone, Hughes finally got his chance to shine as a starting guard during his sophomore year. And he didn't waste much time doing so. In the first game of that season, against IPFW, Hughes reeled off 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting.

In his second game as a starter, Hughes followed up his 25-point explosion with yet another 21-point effort against Savannah State. This time, he shot a whopping 75 percent from the floor.

It wasn't until UW's seventh game that season, against Wofford, that Hughes failed to score in double digits. Overall, Hughes finished with double-digit scoring in 18 of UW's 35 games that year.

Unfortunately, as the team went on to win a Big Ten regular title and was cruising through the conference tournament, Hughes suffered an ankle injury that lingered for the rest of the season. Against Davidson in the Sweet 16, Hughes was only able to play 12 minutes and didn't contribute offensively. UW went on to lose that game and its season was ended.

Best game of year: Whenever Illinois comes to the Kohl Center, it seems to add fuel to an already fiery rivalry. This time around, Hughes absolutely destroyed the Illini with a 22-point, six-steal, five-assist and two-rebound performance en route to an easy 70-60 win. He also connected on 8-of-13 shots in 36 minutes of play.

Junior year:

After a disappointing, if not shocking, loss to Davidson in the tournament the year before, Hughes started off a bit slow to start his junior campaign.

In fact, it wasn't until the Paradise Jam tournament that Hughes seemed to get his groove back. In that tournament, Hughes scored 21 and 22 points against Iona and San Diego respectively. Then, in the final of that tournament against Connecticut, Hughes found himself struggling against the bevy of Huskies guards. He finished that game with nine points on 3-of-8 shooting.

It didn't take long for Hughes to respond to that setback though. At Virginia Tech in the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge, Hughes pulled a rabbit out of the hat and sunk a game winning shot to upend the Hokies. That, as it turns out, was a bit of foreshadowing.

While this season suddenly took a turn for the worse with an unexpected six-game losing streak, Hughes remained one of the more vocal leaders on the team and continued to play with relentless effort. He may not have always made the best decision or shot the best shot, but he always played hard and wore his emotion on his sleeve.

When the Badgers eventually turned things around and qualified for the NCAA tournament, it was Hughes that saved the Badgers season.

Down one in overtime against No. 5 seeded Florida State, Hughes took the ball, twisted near the top of the key, pump faked, drew a foul and finished the shot to give UW the lead late in the contest. He also hit a free throw that eventually made the final score 61-59.

The clutch play was the second of the season for Hughes and allowed the Badgers to live another day.

Best game of year: In one of the more physical games of the season, Hughes stayed strong and focused up until the very end against Florida State in the NCAA Tournament's opening round. His late three-point play that gave UW the win aside, Hughes played solid defense against a Florida State backcourt that was one of the better ones in the region.

Senior year:

To start, it seemed as though Hughes had completely committed himself to being one of the better point guards in the Big Ten. He was making great decisions, wasn't forcing the issue like he had at times early in his career and still found ways to score the basketball.

He logged a career high 15.3 points per game average and became the 34th member of UW's 1,000 point scoring club in the Badgers win over Cal Poly in December.

When Jon Leuer suffered a wrist injury that sidelined him for nine games in the heart of the Big Ten season, it was Hughes and Bohannon's senior leadership that kept the Badgers in title contention.

Hughes had his best statistical year of his career and proved he was worth second team All Conference and Bob Cousy finalist distinction. He was also one of the most clutch players on the Badger squad. His leadership, ball handling and ability to create will be missed as this UW squad moves forward.

Best game of the year: In one of the more electric environments in Kohl Center history, Hughes helped make the game against Duke live up to its hype. Hughes was on fire throughout and seemed to hit a big shot whenever UW needed one.

He finished that game with 26 points on 9-of-16 shooting. In a game where Kyle Singler shined with 28 points, Hughes took away his productivity by nearly matching him point for point. It was surely one of the better performances of Hughes' career.



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