Michael Carter-Williams often left Syracuse fans scratching their heads with some of his decisions while at SU. But now, the rookie will be taking home some hardware, despite his team’s abysmal record and record losing streak.
Carter-Williams wins the Rookie of the Year Awards after averaging 16.7 points per game, 6.3 assists per game, and 6.2 rebounds per game for the Sixers. The only other rookies to put up at least 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists were Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson. Those are two of the greatest of all-time. Pretty elite company.
MCW will have to settle for satisfaction in the award, because the Sixers didn’t even sniff the NBA postseason – now into the second-round’s tremendous matchups with odds out already. They finished with the second worst record in the league, but have a solid nucleus with two lottery picks this year to help build with.
Carter-Williams shot 40.5 percent on the season and led all rookies in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and double-doubles.
He left after taking the Orange to the Final Four, where they lost to Michigan. He was drafted eleventh overall by Philadelphia, and started at point guard, when healthy, in 70 of the team’s 82 games.
When asked about leaving Syracuse early, he said that he misses his coaches and teammates, but does not regret leaving early for the draft. That would make a lot of sense for the Rookie of the Year. He was named the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month four times this season.
Carter-Williams faced minimal competition, as he was up against players like Victor Oladipo, Trey Burke and Mason Plumlee. The past three Rookies of the Year have so far had flourishing NBA career. Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, and Blake Griffin are the most recent winners.
Turnovers were an issue for Carter-Williams while he played in college, but the softer defense in the NBA has helped the rookie a lot, as he has more room to attack the hoop. The 6’6” guard has unusual size and a knack for getting to hoop, and eventually the line.
Carter-Williams will be only the second winner of this award in Sixers history. Allen Iverson won the award in 1996.
Posted by: Jason Weingold