Ursuline graduate makes impression on Wright State coach
YOUNGSTOWN — When Wright State coach Scott Nagy got the Raiders men’s basketball coaching job last season, he saw Mark Hughes.
The Ursuline High School graduate, a 6-foot-4 junior guard, made an instantaneous impression on him.
Hughes leads his team with 81 assists and averages more than nine points a game.
Nagy said Hughes is one of the best on-ball defenders he’s coach. Coming from someone who has spent decades in this business, that’s a great compliment.
Hughes even held YSU’s Cameron Morse to single figures each of the two meetings with the Penguins.
The Ursuline graduate doesn’t have many problems getting through ball screens. Foul trouble isn’t an issue either.
Scoring. That’s another issue. He had 15 against YSU on Saturday, but Hughes had more than his share of single-figure games.
“I’ve been after him since I’ve been here that he would be more of a force offensively,” Nagy said. “I would like to see him take on that role.
“He’s had some fairly big games, but he’s not a consistently aggressive offensive player. I wish he would be.”
Wright State is staying consistent as any team in the Horizon League, leading the 10-team pack and probably going to be the top seed heading into the league tournament.
The Raiders had a blip with a loss at Cleveland State on Thursday, but wouldn’t be denied against YSU as Wright State manhandled a Penguins team trying to find its identity.
YSU led early, but couldn’t overcome a surge from Wright State.
That’s how these Raiders have persevered this season.
“You know teams are going to go on runs,” Hughes said. “We really stay in the game and knowing you can withstand their runs. You’re going to do whatever it takes to win the game.”
With five 3-pointers on Saturday, it was a good showing for his family and friends sitting behind the Wright State bench.
“It’s definitely exciting, coming home,” Hughes said. “I wanted to play well for them. I had a lot of people come out and see me tonight.
“It’s always fun coming here.”