Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

No Long Shot with Hughes' All-Around Game, `Sky Is the Limit'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

No Long Shot with Hughes' All-Around Game, `Sky Is the Limit'

Article excerpt

Had Larry Hughes been able to find a loophole, he might have skipped his senior season at CBC and headed straight to St. Louis University, where many thought he was ready to step into the lineup last fall.

Athletically, and in virtually every skill category, he was set to dominate his high school competition. But Hughes realized there was room for improvement before he left CBC.

"If there was any concern, it was his ability to shoot, but he really worked on it," coach Bob McCormack said. "When you have the ability to get to the basket, it's your first option. So maybe he didn't shoot as much as he drove. But to be as complete as he wanted, he had to." Hughes did something about it, working on his shooting in every spare minute. And because he did, the Post-Dispatch boys player of the year will leave CBC as a markedly better player than he was the first day of the 1996-97 season. An erratic outside shooter when the season started, the 6-foot-5 guard developed consistency that made him more dangerous than originally expected. He broke 17 CBC records this season, including most career points (2,152) and highest single-season scoring average (27.8), and was buoyed by a new-found 3-point capability in which he hit 42 percent (67 of 162) from beyond the arc. "I worked hard on shooting, starting last summer," Hughes said. "After every AAU practice I shot 100 3s and moved around. I knew I needed to work on it to play the one, two or three spots. They told me I had good form and it was just a matter of concentrating and shooting them like a free throw." Known for ability to slash and create shots, Hughes became more confident in his shooting ability. As a result, opponents who gave him two steps early in the season had to play tighter defense, making them more vulnerable to his quick first step. He used 3-pointers to earn the most valuable player award at the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions in Springfield, Mo. …

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