December 22, 2009

Hughes' dynamism creates openings for teammates

MADISON - Trevon Hughes and Jason Bohannon have combined to start 122 games over their careers at Wisconsin, more than triple the number the other three starters have compiled throughout their respective careers.

So needless to say, both Hughes and Bohannon have been around for quite some time and know what each other's tendencies are. That, in turn, benefits the team and keeps opposing defenders scrambling.

"Sometimes when he's hot and he's feeling it, it's easier for me to get to the basket," Hughes said of Bohannon. "If I get hot early, then I can drive to the basket and his guy is always going to help."

And so far, through 10 games this season, Hughes' ability to create has been the spark plug and catalyst that ignites an offense averaging 73.5 points per game.

His shooting has been better than average, his driving ability has kept defense's guessing and he is simply in the midst of playing the smartest basketball of his career when it matters most.

He is one of the more dynamic and difficult guards in the league to defend and he plays off of that. But the thing about Hughes that is making him great is his selflessness.

He wants to get his teammates involved and knows that if this team is going to achieve what it's set out to do that principle will need to be the one most prioritized. And if you've been paying any attention to his play so far in 2009, you are witnessing it first hand.

"I'm just trying to do whatever it takes to get the win," Hughes, who averages a team high 17.7 points per game, said. "If that requires me to shut down the best guy on the other team or put up some points, I'm going to try it. So far so good."

But Hughes is simply worth more than those generalities. He admits he would like to score five points a game and dish 10 assists while keeping his man from finding pay dirt at all because that probably means his team is well on its way to victory.

"That's kind of hard," Hughes said. "Playing 40 minutes without a guy scoring and shooting 20 times. I'd rather have five points and 10 assists. I love hooking my teammates up and getting everybody involved."

The way he creates openings for teammates cannot be matched by anyone else on the roster. When he decides to attack, he draws a crowd. And when he has a shooter like Bohannon or Tim Jarmusz flanking the perimeter, it's pretty easy to dish the rock.

He simply makes the game easier for his teammates. That is what a senior leader and point guard is supposed to do.

"Anytime me and him are the same side of the floor, if a guy is closing out on me, he's got an open lane," Bohannon, whose 10.2 points per game is good for third on the team, said. "He's more than capable of getting by pretty much anyone. He's very quick.

"If a guy helps off me he can kick. It doesn't really matter. He's very good at finding whoever it is out there and doing whatever he needs to do to win."

And if Hughes continues to be selfless with the ball, consistently scores his average and continues to hit 43 percent of his shots, this UW team will see plenty of wins pile up as the season progresses.

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