While he doesn’t come in with the high ranking or the major accolades like a lot of recruits do that end up at Louisville, Frankie Hughes does bring with him some enticing long term potential. From his size to his athleticism to his ability to make shots, long term Hughes has the ability to be a major contributor.
At a little bit over 6-foot-3, Hughes has the ideal size for the modern day combo guard. Hughes definitely isn’t a pure point guard as he can struggle to handle the ball and his mindset is to score first, but in short bursts right now he does play the position at the high school level.
What Hughes does best is shoot the basketball. He has a quick and high release which allows him to get clean looks, and add in that he gets good elevation on his jumper, he is just someone who when he gets hot from deep can be tough to stop.
On top of that Hughes has significant potential as a defender. He has the good size you are looking for in a guard, long arms, moves well laterally, and is a good athlete. While at this point in time he isn’t good on the defensive end, most of that has to do with attention to detail and not overall ability.
In fact being a “three and D” guy is probably his immediate future at Louisville. If Hughes is able to work his way into the rotation, and there is no doubt he will have the chance to do that, it will be his ability to guard and make shots from deep that will do it.
That is his immediate future, but long term there is a lot of untapped potential. Though ball handling is one of the tougher skills to make significant gains in, and that is Hughes’ biggest weakness, during his time as a coach Rick Pitino has shown a strong ability to develop skills.
With this it isn’t unreasonable to think that Hughes gets to be an average to above average handler for his position. If that happens, and that will take time, you can combine an above average handle with all of the physical gifts that he already possesses, and Hughes has the look of a legit high-major contributor.
Right away Louisville fans probably will only see bits and pieces of Hughes in games, but this is a hard working kid with the size and athleticism needed to compete in the ACC, and could be someone who really develops nicely into a key player during his time in Louisville.