In Saturday’s 97-63 victory over Georgia Tech, Syracuse Orange men’s basketball players Elijah Hughes and Buddy Boeheim reached career-highs in points. Hughes dropped 33 and Boeheim poured in 26 on six 3s apiece.
But perhaps overshadowed by the point total was Howard Washington’s career-high. The sophomore point guard dished out a career best eight assists in just 17 minutes of play.
Washington’s first assist came on a Boeheim 3-pointer with 6:37 remaining in the first half. His seventh and eighth came in the game’s waning moments on a pair of feeds to Jesse Edwards with a victory well in hand. Three of Washington’s eight dimes were set up for 3s.
“Well when he’s passing to guys that are making 3s it’s pretty easy to get an assist,” Jim Boeheim quipped, before striking a more serious tone. “He was good. He did a good job defensively. I though he was really steady.”
Against Georgia Tech, Washington was the first guard off the bench for Syracuse. His 17 minutes of action was the most he’s played all year. Washington has played sparingly this season, only appearing in four of Syracuse’s first eight games prior to Georgia Tech.
After the game against Oklahoma State in Brooklyn, Washington said that he first tries watch from the bench to envision what he would do in certain scenarios. He noted that it’s hard to come into the game cold and admires NBA guys who can do it for a living. When he does check in, he tries to get a flow and get into rhythm first before shooting.
Washington, who speaks eloquently with a high basketball IQ, has become an easy player to root for among Syracuse fans. After tearing his ACL in his freshman campaign and suffering a stroke in his sophomore year, adversity hasn’t exactly been unfamiliar to Washington.
He says it’s been tough. He’s been through a lot but he’s still pushing and focused on things he can control. He wants to win. He’ll do whatever it takes. He wants to defend and concentrate on giving 100 percent effort.
He did that on Saturday.
Washington finished with 2 points, 2 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal and only 1 turnover.
“Howard was very good. Very good tonight,” Boeheim finished.
For Syracuse basketball stories and updates follow TNIAAM and James on twitter @NunesMagician and @JamesSzuba