Friday, January 02, 2009

Rautins on Fire

In case you've been pulling a Rip Van Winkle the past few games, you are fairly aware of the recent hot shooting that Andy Rautins has been displaying. His 29 point, 9-16 from three point range against Coppin State pulled the headlines, but he's followed it up with a 7-10 effort against Seton Hall, and then earlier tonight a 4-8 effort against South Florida.

Rautins is a 'apparent' streaky shooter, like many perimeter shooters. But we should not take this recent streak too lightly. Not only has Rautins made 20-34 three point attempts (59%), but he has been the leading scorer for Syracuse for each of the last three games, averaging 23 points a game. His outstanding effort in the Seton Hall game likely didn't make a difference, but the monstrous effort in the Coppin State was absolutely needed, and Syracuse needed all of Rautins shots tonight in the low scoring South Florida game.

These may be some of the 'easier' defenses that Syracuse (and Rautins) will see this year, but take into consideration that his teammates are not hitting their shots, especially from the perimeter, that Eric Devendorf was suspended for a couple of games, and that Jonny Flynn hurt his hip and has struggled recently, and we could have been looking at some ugly losses on the team resume.

Rautins is now 44 for 108 on the season, or 40.7% from three point range. Based on his season average (and we are almost at the midway point), Rautins is on pace for about 104 three point baskets this year. The Syracuse record is for a season is 107 by Gerry McNamara, so Rautins has a shot at it. I think his pace will slow down as Devo gets back into form, and Flynn picks up his pace, but it would be great if Rautins could keep his shooting going.

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