Did Otto Porter Just Pass Michael Carter-Williams in Big East POY Race?

Tyler DonohueNational Recruiting AnalystFebruary 23, 2013

SYRACUSE, NY - FEBRUARY 23: Otto Porter #22 of the Georgetown Hoyas passes the ball during the game against the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome on February 23, 2013 in Syracuse, New York. (Photo by Nate Shron/Getty Images)
Nate Shron/Getty Images

Outside of Otto Porter, Georgetown shot 20 percent at Syracuse Saturday afternoon. The sensational sophomore forward picked up the slack so impressively that the Hoyas overcame a longtime foe in their final meeting at the Carrier Dome, ending the Orange's nation-best 38-game home win streak. 

Porter poured in 33 points as Georgetown surged to a 57-46 victory over Syracuse. His performance helped push the Hoyas into sole possession of first place in the Big East standings. 

I'll get into details about how Porter powered his team to its ninth consecutive win in just a moment but Jim Boeheim did a great job of summing up the situation. 

"Porter was so good today," Boeheim told the Associated Press via ESPN.com. "He just dominated the game. He really won the game."

Put the Hall of Fame Syracuse coach's statement alongside the rest of the items currently piling up on Porter's expansive resume. The 6'8" Missouri native is spearheading a late-season surge for Georgetown, asserting himself as a serious Big East Player of the Year candidate and a National Player of the Year darkhorse.

Porter has averaged 20 points and nearly eight rebounds per game during the past five contests, elevating his game in the most pivotal stretch of Georgetown's season. His latest dominant display occurred while he shared the court with conference star Michael Carter-Williams.

The pair of standouts registered performances that landed on opposite ends of the spectrum. 

Porter filled the stat sheet, shooting 12-of-19 from the floor to go with eight rebounds and five steals. He has now shot better than 50 percent in nine games since the start of January.

Carter-Williams didn't come close to approaching Porter's numbers. He managed just seven points on 2-of-6 shooting in 39 minutes of action.

Carter-Williams leads the Big East in assists and continues to orchestrate the Orange offense. When you compare his Player of the Year candidacy to Porter's accomplishments, it becomes clear the Georgetown star has gained an edge in the award race.

The Hoyas' leading scorer has been a model of consistency. Porter accumulated double-digit point totals in 18 of the last 19 games. 

There's no disputing that Carter-Williams is enjoying a special season, but he's had a few clunkers along the way. His 38 percent shooting from the floor also leaves something to be desired.

Carter-Williams was 4-of-17 in an overtime loss at Villanova. He followed that game with a 3-of-12 effort at Connecticut. 

Porter proved his staying power in Saturday's victory at Syracuse. His performance is a late addition to the legacy of Syracuse versus Georgetown, a rivalry that comes to a close when the teams meet again in the March 9 regular-season finale (unless the two play again in postseason tournament action).

Hoyas head coach John Thompson lauded his leader following the game.  

"It was special. That's the only way to categorize it," Thompson told the Associated Press via ESPN.com. "You saw the show that I saw. To play up here against that opponent, that's what players do, and he's a special player."

On Saturday, Porter put himself atop the P.O.Y. leaderboard and drove Georgetown to the top of conference standings with two weeks remaining in the season.