Howard Washington churns out serviceable performance in Syracuse’s 101-90 loss at No. 23 Florida State

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — When freshman forward Oshae Brissett picked up his second foul midway through the first half, Jim Boeheim turned to his right and called on Howard Washington. The move meant Syracuse would be running with a three-guard lineup, uncommon through the first half of the season.What it also meant: Syracuse would put a key guard position in the hands of a true freshman who had played a grand total of eight minutes over Syracuse’s previous four games.Yet not only did Washington prove the move to be worthwhile, he demonstrated for the first time this year that he can run the point. It is an encouraging sign for Syracuse, with former graduate transfer Geno Thorpe’s departure making the point guard position basically a one-man show for starter Frank Howard.Saturday afternoon in Syracuse’s (12-6, 1-4 Atlantic Coast) 101-90 loss at No. 23 Florida State (13-4, 2-3), Washington more than doubled his career highs in minutes (24) and tripled his career points (nine), running the point as part of a three-guard lineup, and taking the one-guard spot when Frank Howard fouled out. Washington looked comfortable and poised, committing only one turnover and knocking down three of his four shots. The 6-foot-3 guard added one assist and collected three rebounds.“Being prepared, coming off the bench,” Washington said, “or going a whole half not playing. You know what I mean? That’s kind of tough.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textA junior averaging 15.4 points per game, Howard plays nearly 40 minutes a night. When he was out of the game, the Orange was called with a pair of 10-second violations. His absence was felt. But Frank Howard said Washington can handle the basketball, appear calm against pressure and knock down open shots.Washington entered the game midway through the first half for forward Marek Dolezaj. He immediately drilled a 3-pointer, without hesitation. He then pushed the ball up court and, a couple of possessions later, he picked up a steal and split two defenders near midcourt. He earned a trip to the line but missed both free throws.“He’s a steady player,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said last month. “He can make an open shot. He’s smart. He knows the game. He’s a very smart player.”Later, he drove baseline, sucking the defense his way. He kicked the ball out to freshman forward Oshae Brissett for an open 3. And, with under one minute left in regulation, Washington hit two free throws to cut the FSU lead to one point.Whether he sees more time as part of Syracuse’s three-guard lineup remains to be seen. It could be that Boeheim resorts back to previous lineups and plays Washington sparingly. Or, if Washington continues to produce in the time he is given, he could fill a void by giving Howard more time to work off-ball.“He’s a great player,” Howard said. “He gave me a chance to get off the ball a little bit and I’m confident when he has the ball.” Comments Published on January 13, 2018 at 7:27 pm Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21last_img

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