Hughes hopes Ryan's tough love translates to NBA
"He was very hard on me. I didn't like it, but now he's showing me love when I'm done," Hughes said. "He's not jumping me anymore. Now I'm like more of a son to him. I thought he always hated me."
All of Ryan's hounding, good-natured or otherwise, is paying off for Hughes, who was in Milwaukee on Monday to work out for the Bucks in the first of several pre-draft sessions the team has scheduled.
The 23-year-old Hughes played four years at Wisconsin and averaged 15.3 points his senior year. He's one of many former Badgers players who doesn't buy the theory that playing under Ryan hurts their draft stock.
Wisconsin runs a methodical swing offense that gets everyone involved and sometimes pushes games into a pace that seems reserved for peach baskets and is far removed from the high-flying NBA act.
"I don't agree with that," Hughes said after a laugh. "I would say the swing probably hides your talent level, but at the same time if you're evaluating people's talent, you can see that somebody's got talent.
"I can run up and down the floor. I can jump, I can shoot, I can do all the little things. I don't think it hurt me any."
Hughes is still considered somewhat of a long shot to be drafted because of his size and questions about his shooting range. Bucks assistant general manager Jeff Weltman said they like Hughes' toughness and competitiveness, but Hughes knows he's got to keep working on his game.
"I can probably make a team if I go out there and show what I can do to the best of my ability and don't do things I can't do," he said. "Right now, the ball is not in my hands, I'm trying to get it into my hands so I can control it."
He's also turned down most advice from friends and former teammates who've gone through the process of pre-draft workouts because he wants to learn as much as he can.
"Part of growing up and learning something is making mistakes," he said. "That's how you become a man."