Men’s basketball: Raiders get first commitment for 2015

Justin Boggs, Sports Editor

Wright State head coach Billy Donlon picked up his first verbal commitment for the 2015 freshmen class as Youngstown Ursuline High School guard Mark Hughes has announced he will join the Raiders next season.

Hughes, a 6-foot-3 point guard who is entering his senior season at Ursuline, said he chose Wright State over a number of schools including Youngstown State, Loyola and Davidson.

Hughes recently visited Wright State and said he was impressed by what the university has to offer. Hughes has yet to see a game in the Nutter Center, however. Part of what sold Hughes was the opportunity to play in his hometown once a year when the Raiders visit Youngstown.

“I really liked the whole university, the campus feel and ever since then, I knew if they offered me a scholarship, this would be the place for me,” Hughes said.

Hughes’ high school team went to the regional finals in his junior season.

Hughes said he is most comfortable playing as a point guard and running the team’s offense. While he averaged over 16 points and eight rebounds a game, he said his strength is using his ability to find wide-open teammates.

Per NCAA rules, Donlon is not allowed to comment on prospects until they sign their National Letter of Intent in November.

Hughes’ high school coach Keith Gunther said that Hughes recently experienced a growth spurt and would be capable playing any guard position for WSU. Gunther compared Hughes to former Ursuline guard D’Aundray Brown who played at Cleveland State and signed a contract with the Cavs.

“He was small, he was 5-10 and then he got to 6-foot, all those years he was playing the (point), and now he hits a growth spurt and all of a sudden he is 6-3, 6-4. I think that is a great benefit for him,” Gunther said. “He has those (point guard) skills and now he is 6-3, 6-4 and now he can get in the paint and play as a two or three.”

While being a standout basketball player at Ursuline, Hughes has maintained a 3.8 grade point average at the private high school.

“You’re not going to find a better person, not going to find a better person academically, all around as a person and a kid, he is probably one of the most favorite kids I have coached,” Gunther said.

Hughes’ versatility might be needed in order to get playing time. Donlon’s 2014 freshmen class includes four guards, all of whom are around the same height as Hughes. But Hughes should be given an opportunity to compete for a starting job as three guards will exhaust their eligibility next spring.

“(Wright State) is known for its guard play and having good guards,” Hughes said. “I really like their play style.”

Print Friendly