For the third straight year, Syracuse has dipped into the transfer market and come out with a new player to bolster the roster. After taking his official visit Wednesday, East Carolina wing Elijah Hughes committed to the Orange. As he has only played one year of college basketball, he has to sit out a year before he can play and use the remaining three years of his eligibility. Hughes was originally planning to take a visit to Iona after he visited the Hill, but he tweeted his commitment to the Orange while still on campus. He has since canceled his visit with the Gaels.
— Eli (@elijahhughes4_) May 11, 2017
Hughes is listed at 6-foot-6 and played the wing for the Pirates during his freshman season, where he averaged a hair under eight points per game. Hughes told Syracuse.com that the reason he decided to come to the Orange is because he could not think of anything that he didn’t like about the program. It should also be noted that he played basketball during his senior year with Matthew Moyer at South Kent Prep in Connecticut. Hughes also has connections with Tyus Battle and Taurean Thompson.
Hughes is just the latest example of the recent trend in Syracuse’s history to go after transfers. Notably, Syracuse landed Wesley Johnson back in 2008 before he finished up his eligibility with the Orange during the 2009-10 season. The Orange brought in Michael Gbinije from Duke a few years later and then in 2015 Jim Boeheim and his staff lured Paschal Chukwu away from Providence after his freshman season. Last season, Boeheim went a slightly different route and targeted the graduate transfer “free agent” market, landing Andrew White III and John Gillon.
The transfer market is certainly a viable method of bringing in talent, particularly when Syracuse is struggling in the traditional recruiting method. It is one that Syracuse seems to be having some success in and one may expect the Orange to keep pursuing talent to flush out the roster by any means necessary.