After two games where Syracuse shot a combined 5-27 from downtown, the Orange’s outside shooting improved significantly in a 96-62 win over Central Connecticut State on Monday night.
Syracuse shot 10-22 against the Blue Devils, led by Michael Carter-Williams, who went 3-4 from beyond the arc. It was a welcome sign for Carter-Williams, who is shooting just 20.5 percent from that range. In his last four games, he was just 2-12.
“I think it is really important, it brings my confidence up,” Carter-Williams said of his outside shooting. “I am going to keep shooting the ball and try to be successful with it. I practice it every day so why not go out there and shoot it with confidence.”
It was one of the sophomore’s best games of the season, and he came one rebound shy of a triple-double. He had a career-high 18 points, 13 assists and 9 rebounds. His three treys tied a season high.
“We have guys that are going to make shots. I think that’s important,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “I think that we do have capabilities of different guys to make shots from the perimeter and that’s a good thing. Some teams only have one guy that can make shots. We have a couple of different guys that can make shots and that’s going to be a good thing in the long run.”
CJ Fair (1-1), Brandon Triche (2-6), James Southerland (1-2), Jerami Grant (1-1) and Trevor Cooney (2-7) were also solid in that department.
“It’s always good to see the ball go through the hoop and it was even better that we had chemistry today,” Southerland said. “Everyone got in the mix and played well.”
Syracuse also shot 50.6 percent from the field. It was their best shooting performance since the Orange shot 54.8 percent from the field and 57 percent from downtown against Canisius on Dec. 15.
“I don’t think that we’ve been in a slump,” Boeheim said. “I think we are going to miss some shots. That’s just part of the game.”
Boeheim used NBA stars Lebron James and Dwayne Wade as examples.
“They are going to have a three-game stretch someplace where they shoot, 20, 25, 30 percent,” Boeheim said. “It’s just the way it is and even more so in college.”