Carter-Williams continues to impress as the Orange roll

Syracuse's offense was hitting on all cylinders in their 87-51 rout over Colgate to remain undefeated on the year.

Syracuse cruised to a 87-51 victory over Colgate in the Carrier Dome on Sunday afternoon. The Orange were the aggressor, frequently getting to the free throw line and forcing turnovers. 

Michael Carter-Williams led the Orange with 13 assists while adding 8 points in the rout. Head coach Jim Boeheim was particularly impressed with Carter-Williams’ selflessness and court awareness.

Photo: Brandon Weight
Senior point guard Brandon Triche posted 15 points in the Orange's win against Colgate on Sunday.

“Michael’s playing as well as any point guard we’ve had in a long time,” Boeheim said, adding that his new point guard could have finished with 17 or 18 assists if other players had shot better from the floor.

The sophomore guard is averaging 10 assists per game in the last three matchups and senior forward James Southerland said he has seen Carter-Williams making changes. “I’ve seen a big difference in him looking for teammates more,” Southerland said.

Southerland led SU in scoring with 18 points including four threes in just 23 minutes. Boeheim remarked that Southerland could have scored 30 points in the first half because he was getting many open shots against the Colgate zone. The veteran entered the game after just a minute a half on the bench and immediately made an impact, scoring seven points in three minutes.

The early stages of the game were a bit of a struggle for the Orange because the Raiders started out hot from behind the arc. Boeheim said Colgate has really improved its outside shooting but after a 4-of-8 start to the game, the Raiders shot just 5-of-20 from deep.

Syracuse also struggled from three, highlighted by an 0-for-7 performance by redshirt freshman Trevor Cooney. However, senior guard Brandon Triche remains confident in Cooney’s ability to shoot.

“He’s going to make shots and we’re going to keep passing it to him,” said Triche.

Cooney said he is adjusting and trying to do more on the floor when his shot is off but added when he is missing, “it definitely gets to you. Without a doubt. But you can’t let it get to you too much. You just gotta keep playing and you can’t let it affect your game.”

The young starting Syracuse frontcourt was effective on the glass and in the scoring column, combining for 22 points and 16 rebounds. DaJuan Coleman showed a deft perimeter touch and an ability to score in the post, playing arguably his best game of his freshman campaign with 12 points and 7 boards. Rakeem Christmas finished with 10 points and 9 rebounds, showcasing his athleticism near the bucket. Boeheim said the frontcourt keeps getting better and hopes it will continue to do so.

Murphy Burnatowski, John Brandenburg and Pat Moore were the leading scorers for the Raiders with 8 points each. Colgate relied on the three against the zone, shooting from deep 28 times, and found it difficult to penetrate against the lengthy Syracuse zone. The Raiders shot as many twos as it did threes.

The quickness of the Orange defense forced 16 turnovers and capitalized by scoring 21 points off those change of possessions. Syracuse’s physicality allowed them to score an astounding 42 points in the paint, as well as 16 second chance points. As much as the difference in talent and size was evident, Boeheim said the game was a “good opportunity to get everyone in there.”

Next, the Orange face Arkansas in a Friday night showdown. The Razorbacks are known to be a tough home team that presses often. “It’s going to be a great test,” Carter-Williams said. 

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