ShareThis Page
Duquesne

Duquesne's Michael Hughes did more than sit around while sitting out last season

Jerry DiPaola
| Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, 6:30 p.m.
Duquesne’s Michael Hughes (21) looks to pass as Pittsburgh’s Terrell Brown (21) and Au’Diese Toney, right, defend during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Duquesne’s Michael Hughes (21) looks to pass as Pittsburgh’s Terrell Brown (21) and Au’Diese Toney, right, defend during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Sophomore center Michael Hughes didn’t play basketball for Duquesne during the 2017-2018 season, but he put his inactivity to good use.

After transferring from Akron and showing up on campus weighing 275 pounds, Hughes, who stands 6-foot-8, decided it was time to lose weight.

“I ate chicken and rice like there was no tomorrow,” he said.

Of course, there’s more to weight loss for athletes than just saying no at the dinner table.

“You take no days off,” he said of his workout schedule. “All great determination. Whenever you want something you have to go get it. It’s been in the back of my head since last year, I have to make an impression so I just kept getting at it every day.”

In the end, Hughes lost as much as 45 pounds and fluctuates between 230 and 240. Now, he can almost anything he wants because he burns off the calories on the basketball court.

The results are showing up for Hughes, who has started all six games and is second in scoring (12.7 points per game) and rebounding (6.3) for the Dukes.

His best game was Friday when he scored 20 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out two assists against Pitt, but he said the effort was watered down by Duquesne’s 74-53 defeat.

“I’m never happy with how I play,” he said. “There are always those negative things that can happen.

“It could have been 20 and 10 and a couple more assists or I could have had more rebounds. Anybody can say, 'I did my part.’ I didn’t do my part enough.”

He said he didn’t know that he has made 17 of his past 21 field-goal attempts.

“I don’t pay attention to what I do. I pay attention to what I did wrong.”

Hughes is a big piece of the puzzle coach Keith Dambrot is trying to assemble after only three players who won letters returned from last season. There are six freshmen and four transfers.

Hughes said he followed Dambrot from Akron for reasons of loyalty.

“A big thing to me and my family is loyalty,” he said. “Coach D always looked out for me as a player and as a person and as a man, helping me develop over the past 2 ½ years.”

Hughes gets a chance to continue paying back Dambrot on Wednesday when the Dukes meet Marshall at Palumbo Center.

He also has additional motivation. Marshall bounced No. 4 seed Wichita State from the NCAA Tournament last season, winning as a No. 13 seed.

Hughes’ former AAU teammate Landry Shamet, now a rookie guard with the Philadelphia 76ers, played for Wichita State last season.

“I have to go get a little revenge from my man Landry,” he said.

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me