After the super sophomore saw limited action as a freshman, Carter-Williams has begun the season doing a little bit of everything for the 6-0 Orange.
The 6-foot-6 point guard had 287 total minutes last year and saw only 45 minutes of action the rest of the season after a Jan. 14 Syracuse victory. In just six games this year, Carter-Williams has totalled 190 minutes and already matched or bettered his totals as a freshman.
In 287 minutes last season, Carter-Williams finished with a total of 70 points, 46 assists, 38 rebounds, 26 steals and five blocks. In the 190 minutes this season, Carter-Williams already has accumulated 69 points, 57 assists, 39 rebounds, 22 steals and four blocks to average on the season 11.5 points, 9.5 assists, 6.5 rebounds, 3.7 steals and 0.7 blocks.
His 9.5 assists average currently leads the country by a full assist higher than second place, meanwhile his 3.7 steals per game has him in a three-way tie for second place in the nation but first in his conference.
In his past two games Carter-Williams has recorded double-doubles and narrowly missed a triple-double needing only one more assist in the game. The guard is unique given his size and length at the point guard position and is clearly putting it to good use on both ends of the floor.
His length makes him a perfect fit at the top of the Syracuse zone and his steals per game shows just how much the Orange have been benefiting from him in that position. Although his jump shot needs work, his size and play-making abilities make it so defenders can’t play off him expecting him to drive to the basket. Otherwise you open up space for a tall guard who can already see over the opposing team’s point guard, which just provides even more court vision for the country’s best play maker.
Jay Bilas recently wrote on ESPN.com that Carter-Williams once attended a basketball camp and was projected to be nothing more than a mid-major talent. Carter-Williams took that projection home and kept it above his bed as motivation.
Clearly Syracuse is seeing signs of that motivation paying off as through only six games Carter-Williams has turned his reputation from a freshman who was nailed to the bench into one of the best players in the country and a legitimate NBA prospect.
Michael covers the ACC and Big East for RantSports, follow him on Twitter @MichaelxRoberts