Knee injury changes Hughes' plans

A planned trip to Brooklyn cancelled, Trevon Hughes is discussing his college choice with his family over the phone

If not for the knee injury he suffered at an AAU event in Verona, Wis. last weekend, Trevon Hughes would be in Brooklyn, N.Y. now, discussing his college decision with his family.

But after straining the medial collateral ligament in his left knee, Hughes' plans have changed. He is still consulting with his family, but he is doing so over the phone so that he can continue receiving medical care in the Milwaukee area.

Hughes,'s No. 47 player in the nation for the class of 2006, has a school in mind and could call a press conference as early as Friday. But there are no guarantees.

"He told me the school," said Brian Richert, Hughes' coach at Delafield (Wis.) St. John's Military Academy, in a telephone interview Wednesday night. "I promised him, of course, I would never say anything… I want him to announce it."

"He's still not 100 percent but he did say this is the school that he is right now telling his family about," Richert said. "He has announced it to me so I know the school that he is now pushing for his family…

But Richert said, "if the family says, ‘We don't know about that'" Hughes decision could change or be put on hold.

The time frame for Hughes' public announcement could also be affected by Richert's schedule. Richert and his family leave for a vacation in Orlando, Fla. Tuesday, and Hughes told Richert he would either hold a press conference before Richert left or after he returns.

Hughes' decision has long been thought to come down to either Wisconsin or Iowa. Richert would not say definitively whether that was still the case. Rather, he said that Hughes is considering five schools: Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Gonzaga and Georgia.

"There were five schools that we debated back and forth," Richert said.

Hughes, of course, had intended on relaying his top choice's résumé to his family in person. But that changed when he injured his knee while playing for the Wisconsin Swing AAU.

"Luckily, there was no internal damage," Richert said. "We had the x-rays. They didn't do an MRI yet. I think they held off on that… there was a lot of swelling, a lot of pain."

Hughes is already undergoing treatment. "He feels a lot better already," Richert said.

Richert said that Hughes wants to return to action in time for an All-American camp in early July. But Richert not only wants the doctors to sign off before Hughes steps back on the floor, he wants to see that Hughes is 100 percent healthy.

Said Richert: "I know he wants to go and he wants to prove to everyone… He says, ‘Coach, they rated me seventh-best point guard in the country and I want to be in the top two. And this is my chance.'

"I said, ‘Well yeah, it's your chance but you know what, I'd rather keep you at No. 7 and healthy than prove yourself No. 2 and you can't even play for two years."

After the injury, Richert and Hughes discussed whether or not Hughes should go to Brooklyn.

"Everything was here," Richert said. "All his appointments, the trainers, the doctors. Everything was here. This knee right now is pretty important to us."

"We felt that it's very important that we get this knee taken care of, handled by the experts," Richert said. "Instead of just going home and letting time heal it."

Yesterday, their conversation focused on when Hughes would announce his decision.

"He is going to be calling his family," Richert said. "He's going to be talking to each and every one of them that he would have been talking to anyways. He's going to present them with his choice and he's going to go from there."

If Hughes' family agrees with his No. 1 choice, a press conference could be held Friday or Saturday, Richert said.

"It depends on him," Richert said. "We just hope everyone understands this knee sort of made us think of a new game plan."

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