Elijah Hughes played two of his best games last season at the American Athletic Conference tournament. They were also the last two games he played as a member of the East Carolina basketball team. The freshman from Beacon, N.Y., announced Monday with a post on his Twitter page that he plans to leave the Pirates and continue his college career at another school. “I would like to thank the East Carolina coaches and basketball staff for giving me the opportunity,” Hughes wrote. “I would also like to thank my teammates, professors and fans and the university for making my freshman year unforgettable. However, with much thought and consideration I have decided to transfer from East Carolina.” Hughes, a 6-foot-6 shooting guard, bounced back from an early season injury to play in 25 games, with seven starts. He ranked fifth on the team in scoring at 7.8 points per game while averaging 2.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists. Although he set a career high with 19 points against South Florida on Dec. 28, he saved his best for last by averaging 16 points while shooting 58.8 percent from the floor and 66.7 percent from 3-point range in games against Temple and SMU at the season-ending AAC tournament. Hughes is the second young player to leave ECU’s program since the end of the season. Redshirt freshman big man Deng Riak, who started 17 games while averaging 5.2 points and 3.2 rebounds, has also decided to transfer.
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