Call out the Guard

The sophomore guard opens up on his play so far, his relationship with fellow guard Brandon Triche, how he views the team, and more with inside.

Syracuse Orange men's basketball sophomore guard Michael Carter-Williams has been asked since the beginning of this season to take the reins.

There is no Scoop Jardine ahead of him.

No veteran guard to lead the way.

From some games where he was left to watch from the bench to perpetual starter, Carter-Williams has not been asked to follow the leader, but rather, to lead.

How does he feel about that? "It's been great," said Carter-Williams. "My teammates expect me to be that leader and to take big shots down the stretch, and that's what I do. Coach [Boeheim] has confidence in me to take those shots so then it's just up to me to make 'em."

Down by one against Louisville, Carter-Williams stole the ball and took it all the way down the court, elevating for a dunk with a man on him. He then made a free throw to give Syracuse a two-point advantage that they would never give up, once Carter-Williams stole the ball once again to end the match.

Versus Cincinnati in the following game, Carter-Williams would connect from long range to tie it up at 55-all, which allowed the Orange to have an opportunity for the win, which they achieved on a later tip-in.

Known lately for his own explosivity, fellow guard, senior Brandon Triche, said if Carter-Williams does not take the big shot, who else is gonna take it. In response to that comment, Carter-Williams remarked, "Makes me feel great. I think he's definitely able to take big shots, down the stretch. I've just been open the past two games. He created my shots...I've just been open. He's been hot. Louisville took him away in the second half, so I was open. He made two big baskets down the stretch. So, he's a great player and I'm glad to have him by my side."

Both Carter-Williams and Triche have assisted one another in finding opportunities in the closely-contested matches, five times versus Louisville and on three occasions against Cincinnati. "It's great that he trusts me and I trust him, so we're just gonna keep building off of that," Carter-Williams expressed.

Carter-Williams, the team's leader in assists, was racking up more helpers in the beginning of the season and has since gone down in his totals per game after starting Big East Conference play. He was averaging a little over 10 assists per game in non-conference play. Against Big East foes, Carter-Williams has recorded three assists less, with seven per game. His response to that has been simple. "I just keep rolling and keep trusting my teammates," Carter-Williams stated. "It's been tough because J-Mo's (James Southerland) out. He was probably three or four of my assists a game, so it's tough he's out. We talk about winning games. That stat I'm not really worried about. I'm just worried about getting my teammates involved and getting wins."

Wins have not come easy as of late, with Syracuse needing late-game heroics and a little bit of luck to help get them over into the win column. Looking ahead, Carter-Williams spoke on his feelings toward the team's ability to win in close matches in the future. "I'm real confident," Carter-Williams shared. "If it comes down to the stretch, we've had a lot of experience in it, so I'm real confident our team can win that game."

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