Highly-touted point guard Michael Carter-Williams will see his first game action tonight as the Orange take on Cal State-LA in the preseason. The Fizz spoke to the young point guard recently and discussed how he handles the hype, where he fits in to a crowded back court, and his relationship with the veterans on SU’s roster. While MCW’s role for this season is yet to be defined, one thing is for certain, he’s ready to get this season underway.
“I’m real excited. It’s been a dream come true to be able to play in the Big East. I love all my teammates, it’s a great team. We’re gonna do some damage in the tournament and it’s gonna be fun.”
Carter-Williams came to Syracuse as a top-30 player in the Rivals 150, and immediately will be expected to contribute for a top 5 team in the country. That’s a lot of pressure for a freshman to deal with, but MCW says the key is staying humble.
“I just remember where I once was and how far I came and just never look back. I just have fun while I’m playing and don’t try to do too much just play within my game and do what I came here to do.”
Unlike most top-30 recruits, Carter-Williams will not just be handed minutes, with Brandon Triche, Scoop Jardine, and always explosive Dion Waiters already in the back court. However, MCW believes that with the right attitude all four players can benefit from competition.
“We all know in the back of our minds that there’s going to be split up minutes, but we never really take it to heart. We all try to get each other better because at the end of the day we all know everyone’s gonna have to contribute to win a championship.”
Being the new kid in town, MCW realizes that his backcourt mates are not only his competition in practice, but also great learning resources.
“They’ve helped me tremendously whether it’s just pushing me to do extra stuff in the weightroom to take care of my body, or on the court pushing me to my limits. I just learn from them every day really, and I just try to learn from them, because they’ve been here and I haven’t gone through what they have, so I just try to learn from them.”
And while the individual battles may get intense from time to time, this freshman knows that his team has bigger goals in mind.
“It’s definitely a big challenge for me. So I try not to think about myself, and think about the team, because as the season goes on and the team goes on into the tournament it’s only going to make me look better.”
Posted: Steve Niekam