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The Northern Touch - Cuse vs. Zags (Talking Canadian Prospects w/ Leo Rautins)

Posted on 22. Mar, 2010 by Tariq Sbiet in Interviews, NBA Draft, Tournaments

What was suppose to be a competitive and close game between these two powerhouses turned into a shooting frenzy for Canadian Andy Rautins and Syracuse.  The Cuse shot a scorching 54% from the field and 48% from deep thanks to their senior Canadian and Junior from Texas. This contest featured 5 Canuks (would have been 6 if Manny Arop from Gonzaga wasn’t injured).  For the orange, you have Andy Rautins and Kris Joseph (Montreal, QB).  The Zags have the aforementioned quartet of Sacre, Olynyk, Kong, and Arop.

However, of all these guys, two continued to shine in this tournament in Andy Rautins (24 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals) and Rob Sacre (14 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 blocks).

Honourable mentions go to Kelly Olynyk (4 points, 4 rebounds) and Kris Joseph (5 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists).

Both Syracuse and the Zags exploded right off the tip with energy on both ends of the floor, getting me excited and optimistic about a close and competitive game. But as we found out, the hot shooting from the orange and the disparity between the back courts was too much. Andy Rautins and Brandon Triche combined for 37 points while Bouldin and Gray only managed 17 points.

“I didn’t think the game was going to be a blowout, I thought it would be a tough, competitive, especially with Syracuse playing without one of their key bigs", said Leo Rautins, Cuse’Alma Mater and father of Andy.

Kelly Olynyk quickly subbed in after 3 minutes into the game, making his presence felt and tipping in a Sacre miss on his first touch of the game.

Rob Sacre’s development was once again on display for all. The big man is really beginning to polish that baby-hook and has his confidence rising with every touch. Only in his second year, look for the North Vancouver native to do some major damage next season.

Mark few had his Bulldogs looking extremely organize as they shared the ball well throughout most of the first half.

For the Orange, Wes Johnson came out aggressive and seemed to be fully healed from that wrist injury. Johnson had a monster game with 31 points and 14 boards.

Andy Rautins chipped in with 24 points, 15 of them being off of his deadly 3-point shot.

“As most players, you just want to improve on all aspects of your game but I don’t think it’s more about improving on, but utilizing it more. He’s got to shoot the ball off the dribble and create more opportunities off the dribble, which he is capable of doing; he just needs to focus in on doing it more,” explained Leo, during his drive back to Toronto.

With regards to the league,

“I think he’s a combo guard, a lot of team expressed interest in him as a point guard and a lot of teams love the way he shoots the ball. He’s a guy that can give you minutes at both positions.”

Rautins has been a glue guy for Syracuse all year and providing a little bit of everything, most importantly his leadership.

Whether it’s Sacre, Olynyk, Arop, Kong, Joseph or Rautins, head coach of Team Canada, Leo Rautins believes that all are in good hands.

“These guys have made good decisions on where to school. We’ve spoke before about kids making decisions that aren’t necessarily the best. You want to go to a place where not only you develop as a player but you can contribute in a real positive way to your team’s success,” he said.

“All these guys are contributing to the success of their teams at a very high profile level, that indicates that they’ve made great decisions for their careers.”

Tariq Sbiet, Canadian Recruiting Analyst

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