Time to Rally the Troops

Michael Carter-Williams has had his positive moments and his trying times so far this season. From here on out, the former is of prime importance. He talks with CuseNation.com inside.

As the floor general for the Syracuse Orange men's basketball team, sophomore guard Michael Carter-Williams has been asked to take the reins of the team in his second season.

With him at the helm of the offense, the Orange have put together 22 wins in 27 games.

Four of their five losses have come on the road, a place where Carter-Williams and the team understand they have to be successful.

"We're going to Marquette after a loss [against Georgetown], so...hopefully we play like we're hungry," said Carter-Williams. "And, we wanna get back on a winning streak."

Backcourt teammate, senior guard Brandon Triche, spoke earlier in the season on the importance of himself and Carter-Williams closing out games, something that did not happen in their match with the Hoyas. "It's been like that all year, when me and Brandon [Triche] struggle, we don't win," Carter-Williams remarked. "So, we can't go out there and struggle. We gotta play to our best potential every game."

As to what Carter-Williams is doing to show leadership in preparation for games, Carter-Williams shared, "Just keep us upbeat, keep us physical. I think we get pushed around too much and I think we let off too many offensive rebounds and we don't get enough offensive rebounds. So, just keep our toughness up there and just keep us together."

Playing against zones has been an issue for the Orange offense, despite the fact that they utilize one, the 2-3, as their own defensive set. Looking at what Syracuse can do in order to become more successful versus zones, Carter-Williams stated, "Just keep moving the ball around and make the defense work. And, find the open spots and get into the gaps off screens."

He agreed that Syracuse could have done more with their time on offense against Georgetown. "I think we rushed too many shots," Carter-Williams expressed. "We shoulda made the defense work more, just like they did to us, and find the open areas."

After the Syracuse squad's loss to their archrival, the Hoyas, in front of the largest crowd ever assembled on a college campus for a collegiate basketball game (35,012), Carter-Williams recalled what Orange alum Carmelo Anthony shared with the team after the match. "He just said, 'Good job, keep your head up, and move on to the next game,'" Carter-Williams stated.

The young guard and the Orange will have another opportunity to emerge victorious over Georgetown, but not before they are tested on the road as well as home.

Leadership from Carter-Williams is imperative for Syracuse to have, now more than ever.

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