Syracuse Orange sophomore guard Michael Carter-Williams has gone from a little-used reserve at times last season into the starting ball-handler this season. As floor general, he has done anything but disappoint. In Syracuse's last five contests, Carter-Williams has racked up over 50 assists, 53 to be exact. Carter-Williams has had no less than nine assists per game in that five-game span.
Against Eastern Michigan, Carter-Williams had four assists in the opening half and seven in the latter, making plays that resulted in points for the Orange throughout the match.
"That's just my job when I'm out there," said Carter-Williams. "I just try to find the open man and hopefully they make a play or knock down a shot. I'm just aggressive on the offensive end and try to make a play whenever I have the ball in my hand."
But along with his positive plays, Carter-Williams has had three or more turnovers in five of Syracuse's six games, including six in each of their last two contests, versus Arkansas and Eastern Michigan, respectively.
"I just try to make smart decisions with the ball. My teammates gotta be in a little bit better position," expressed Carter-Williams. But the Syracuse guard is not putting his miscues on their shoulders. "I'm not blaming them…I take full responsibility for my turnovers, but we just gotta work together better and that's gonna come."
Orange head coach Jim Boeheim shared his thoughts on Carter-Williams' six turnovers versus Eastern Michigan, including fellow guard Brandon Triche, who made four turnovers himself. "I think our guards made some uncharacteristic mistakes," said Boeheim. "Michael's played unbelievably well these first five games [before Eastern Michigan] and [in this game], he made a couple what you would say would be youthful, inexperienced mistakes that we should be expecting, but he hasn't made those and [in this game] he made some of those plays, some of those mistakes, and that's normal. He kind of bypassed those in those first few games."
Boeheim did not seemed concerned, but was rather, confident in Carter-Williams. "He's a quick learner. He sees his mistakes," Boeheim shared.
"Most of his mistakes are from trying to make a real good pass to somebody and those, you can live with those," Boeheim added.
Looking at the team's most recent contest as a whole, Carter-Williams stated, "I think we just came out slow and we came out nonchalant, which we can't do, against anybody. And I think that's why we just had such a slow start."
"I don't know what it was," remarked Carter-Williams. "I didn't know if the intensity was with [the] Arkansas game or we just were having an off day, which we can't afford. I don't what it was, but whatever it was, it can't happen again."
Despite a slow start, the Orange came out to a big lead in the second half, winning 84-48.
Their next opponent, the Long Beach State 49ers, will visit the Carrier Dome for a 8pm ET match-up on Thursday, December 6th.