It’s almost getting repetitive for the Syracuse. Another big win and another big performance by Michael Carter-Williams. The 6-6 point guard has exceeded expectations of even the most optimistic Orange fan. He had 15 points and 16 assists to only three turnovers. He added five steals and four blocks as well. Granted, this may be one of the worst teams in college basketball, but it’s impressive to watch. Other observations from the win over Monmouth:
1) Rebounding wasn’t an issue as the Orange outworked their opponent 58-29. The Hawks tallest player matched up well with Carter-Williams. DaJuan Coleman, CJ Fair and Baye Keita combined for 34 boards total.
2) Syracuse had seven players in double figures. Depth is a huge strength for the Orange this season. They can come at you in waves and when one player is struggling, others can step up. James Southerland has not hit a three since the Arkansas explosion and it hasn’t even mattered. Trevor Cooney is hot right now adding another five long-range shots.
3) Rakeem Christmas is getting more confident. The center has missed just three shots in his last two games and is getting more active in the offense. I’d like to see the Orange use their big men more and at least give the threat that they are going to matter. When Big East play comes around, they are going to have to be a factor.
4) Free throw shooting was terrible in this game. The fourth ranked Orange got to the line 27 times making only 13 of them. Coleman and Jeremi Grant were the biggest culprits missing four each. Grant played well in his 15 minutes of action. My excitement builds for him every time he steps on the court.
Verdict: Another spectacular win. The Orange still won’t be challenged until the Temple game so until then, they will continue to put up gaudy numbers.