Just a couple of years ago Elijah Hughes and Marek Dolezaj had no idea who the other one was. Then a couple years ago Dolezaj was immersing himself on a new continent, and Hughes was learning what life was like up north. Now, as the two begin their third year together in the program, they have developed an important bond.
That friendship could be vital on the court this season. Hughes will shoulder a majority of the scoring burden for the Orange, and Dolezaj is transitioning into a veteran presence on a young team. We may start to see more scoring out of Dolezaj, but he will still be relied on for his game outside of scoring. From rebounding, to taking charges, or diving for loose balls, Dolezaj gives SU much needed juice. All too often last season Dolezaj changed the course of the game through his effort that teammates, coaches, and fans all appreciate.
There’s one play that I still think about far too often.
And of course, his friend appreciated it as well.
Speaking of Hughes, the shooting guard averaged almost 14 points per game while shooting a tick under 37 percent from deep. Coming into last season, the former transfer was known to be a dynamic slasher. The shooting touch was a little bit more surprising. On a team with Buddy Boeheim, Joe Girard, and Brycen Goodine, SU will have no shortage of shooters. And hey, maybe we’ll see a few more threes from Dolezaj this year as a cherry on top.