With just under nine minutes remaining and the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team leading Virginia Tech 53-51 in Blacksburg, Elijah Hughes, a step inside the three-point line on the left wing, received a pass from Marek Dolezaj. Hughes, with his back to the basket and guarded by the smaller Wabissa Bede, used his size advantage to back into his defender and get himself into the paint, where he scored a turnaround floater and a shooting foul was called on Bede. Although Hughes missed his and-one free throw, the initial bucket gave him 10 points in the game and his 1,000th and 1,001st career points.
That last bucket made 1,000 career points for @elijahhughes4_ pic.twitter.com/zptdus79OW— Syracuse Basketball (@Cuse_MBB) January 18, 2020
Hughes, who transferred to Syracuse in 2017 after his freshman season at East Carolina, scored 194 points (averaging 7.8 a game) for the Pirates, according to ESPN. After sitting out 2017-18 due to NCAA transfer rules, Hughes has scored 797 points in 51 games for the Orange. He averaged 13.7 points last season, second on the team, and leads the team in scoring this season with 19.3 a game.
Hughes entered Saturday’s game with 991 career points, scoring 17 and finishing with 1,008. That total puts him at 63rd in Orange history, between Frank Howard, who has 992, and Leo Rautins, who has 1,031, per orangehoops.org. If Hughes keeps his current scoring average for the remaining 13 games of the regular season, he will be at 40th all-time. A long postseason could put him in the top 30. Should Hughes return to Syracuse for his final year of eligibility next season, he could realistically crack the top-10 and even score 2,000 career points, cementing himself as an Orange legend.