Syracuse Basketball’s Howard Washington is a selfless hunger artist off the bench whose success is rooted behind his opportunities. Here are the details.
It has been less than a full month since Syracuse basketball began its 2019-20 season against Virginia in the Carrier Dome.
14 months ago, during the latter stage of his ACL tear recovery, Washington was cleared for full workouts after a full summer of rehabilitation at Syracuse when he suffered a stroke walking on campus. Crouse Hospital doctors immediately removed two blood clots in his brain, and shortly after, he underwent heart surgery.
Like his miraculous journey to recovery following a late-January 2018 ACL tear, Washington was able to return to play with the Orange in under two months since his stroke, playing in three games before ending his season with a medical redshirt.
Entering the 2019-20 season, Washington had just one game under his belt where his playing time exceeded 24 minutes and that came against an in-conference opponent.
In a 101-90 loss to the Seminoles on January 13th, 2018, Washington came off the bench for Boeheim, and in 24 minutes, scored nine points on 3-of-4 shooting, grabbed three rebounds and dished out an assist.
After playing in 18 games during the 2017-18 season, Washington had seen the court just eight times under Boeheim since entering.
Entering Saturday, all of the chips were for the taking for Washington, who finally had an open door of playing opportunity for the taking.
After entering the season with the starting point guard role, Carey underwent thumb surgery, and Washington was suddenly the third man up.
And then December 7th happened.
4-4 Syracuse took on 4-2 Georgia Tech, away from the Carrier Dome in a game many were betting would put the Orange below .500 and further push their consideration for NCAA Tournament contention into an abyss.
Washington missed both shots he took from long range, and ended the Orange’s 97-63 win over the Yellow Jackets with just two points, yet was the catalyst behind a combined 59-points from teammates Elijah Hughes (33) and Buddy Boeheim (26).
Washington saw 17 minutes of actions, logging two points, two rebounds, and a career-high eight assists, most of which enhanced Syracuse’s offense, which would finish the tilt shooting over 51% from the field and 42% from three.
While Girard had a solid showing as the starting point guard, scoring 10 points, and racking up a handful of rebounds and assists, Goodine saw just four minutes of action in the win.
In a must-win game for the Orange, their most underrated bench asset showed up. Instead of transferring, a trend we’ve seen from plenty of unhappy Syracuse point guards in recent years, Washington waited patiently for his turn, and given the chance, will continue to play selfless basketball and happily serve the best interests of his teammates’ scoring abilities on the court.
In less than one calendar month, Howard Washington has overcome limited playing time and has been plunged into sixth man consideration for the Syracuse Orange.
With Carey’s return to action this season or beyond it in doubt, and Goodine’s recent struggles hanging in the balance, a window of opportunity to a more than deserving candidate to assume backup point guard duties has opened and are there for Washington’s taking.