After being benched for last week’s nonconference finale against Lipscomb, Missouri freshman guard Frankie Hughes is set to return.
Hughes, who is the Tigers’ second-leading scorer at 11.8 points per game, will be available for the Southeastern Conference opener against LSU at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Mizzou Arena.
“Frankie Hughes will play on Wednesday …,” third-year coach Kim Anderson said during Monday’s SEC men’s basketball teleconference. “I’m looking forward to having him back. He’s had some good practices and seems to be ready to go.”
What’s unclear is if Hughes, who started the season’s first 11 games, will be inserted back into the starting lineup.
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“I don’t know that he’ll have the same role,” Anderson said. “We’ve experimented with some different combinations this past week. We’ve had a little bit of time since we haven’t played since Thursday. I think he’ll have a significant role — the same as the other 8 or 9 or 10 guys that are going to play.”
Hughes was late returning to Columbia after Christmas and missed several practices, prompting Anderson to sit him during an 81-76 loss against the Bisons.
Hughes started the season like gangbusters, averaging 23.5 points in his first two games and shooting 17 of 34 from the field. He was 9 of 22 from three-point range against Alabama A&M and Xavier.
Since then, his shooting has cooled considerably to 27 of 110 — an icy 24.5 percent — during the last nine games. That includes a 14 of 64 mark — 21.9 percent — from long range.
Hughes, who ranks 30th nationally among all NCAA Division I players in percentage of shots taken when on the floor, hasn’t made more than half his shots in any game since the season-opener and shot below 30 percent from the field in six of those 10 games.