Draft Analysis: Michael Carter-Williams

As this young Orange guard prepares for his future, take a look at what he does well and what could improve in his game inside.

Michael Carter-Williams made the decision to forgo his final two years of eligibility at Syracuse University when he entered this year's NBA Draft.

From his freshman to his sophomore season, he went from fourth-string option at guard to starting point guard.

Moving up the ladder rose his time on the court from a little over 10 minutes per game to a little more than 35 minutes per game, the difference between playing for a quarter of a game as opposed to almost the entire game.

With the increase in time, Carter-Williams elevated his averages in points, assists, rebounds, and steals per contest.

Strengths:

Carter-Williams can drive and attack the rim. Despite his slimmer physical appearance, he demonstrates no fear in going to the basket with the confidence to score.

He possesses the vision to know where and when to pass to teammates. As a result, Carter-Williams stood atop the entire country of over 300 NCAA Division I men's basketball players in assists per game for much of the 2012-13 collegiate season.

Carter-Williams knew his teammates' strengths and worked to get them the ball in positions where they were successful.

Helping Carter-Williams get the ball to his teammates were his ball-handling skills, which are another talent that will prove very helpful professionally.

Defensively, he played in an active 2-3 zone. It was not a standstill, cover-a-small-area type of a zone. In contrast, Orange coach Jim Boeheim's zone incorporates man-to-man principles and requires the backcourt to be in constant motion in order to cover the perimeter and prevent penetration. Carter-Williams utilized the zone to disrupt passing lanes, recording multiple steals in 32 of Syracuse's 40 games last season.

Overall, having to rise from someone who rarely received minutes to being the floor general gave him the experience of having to learn quickly and implement what he learned just as fast. His ability to do this aided in the Orange attaining a place in the nation's Final Four this past season.

Areas needing improvement:

Just as Carter-Williams stole the ball away more than once in 32 games, he gave it up just as much. In 32 of Syracuse's 40 matches last season, Carter-Williams had multiple turnovers.

As he eyes the next level, he will have to condense the amount of times he relinquishes possession to his opponent. In 12 games during the 2012-13 campaign, Carter-Williams had at least five turnovers, and six or more in seven of those 12 contests.

In direct connection to turnovers, Carter-Williams must be more mentally aware at times on the court. His errant passes where he looks as if he is deciding to shoot or pass while he is already in the air will not cut it on the next level.

Carter-Williams also has to refrain from the forced shots he has taken. Though it is the nature of many players to want the ball every trip down on offense, he will need to be less selfish when his shot simply is not there and be willing to look elsewhere.

When he does shoot, Carter-Williams needs to be more reliable in getting the ball in the basket. He leaves Syracuse making less than 40% of his total attempts, including less than 30% from three-point range.


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