Andy Rautins was not the most physically imposing Syracuse athlete. He wasn’t the fastest or the strongest. He might not have even been noticed when he walked into the dining hall or on campus (although he was 6’4″). But he had a skillset that puts him in the pantheon of all-time SU greats. His shot was beautiful.
Andy is the son of Leo Rautins, an excellent Orangeman from the early ’80s. Leo was the first ever to tally a triple-double in Big East play, and by the time Andy came along Jim Boeheim’s career was already destined for the Hall of Fame. Andy was always meant to wear the Orange. “I remember being at Manley Field House when Andy was about 3,” said Leo. “And I yelled, ‘Come on, Andy, we’ve got to go!’ And he started running full speed at me, dribbling the ball with either hand and never even looking at it.”
The road wasn’t an easy one for Rautins. He wasn’t recruited by the beasts of college basketball, instead choosing on SU over Providence and St. Bonaventure. He underwent knee surgery which cost him a year on the Hill. But after reconstructive surgery his feathery stroke began paying major dividends.
He tied a school record with nine 3-pointers (Gerry McNamara) during a career-high 29 point explosion versus Coppin State. He was a crucial part of the epic 6-OT classic against UConn in the Big East Tourney. He netted 20 points, and six 3-pointers, one of which being a dagger three in the final seconds of the third overtime, forcing a fourth.
Rautins became a fiery leader for the Orange. After the awful loss to LeMoyne in the preseason, Rautins spared no one. “I’m really tired of talking about that game. It definitely lit a fire under our butts. It let us know we’re not the team of last year. We’re not the Sweet 16 team. We have no credibility. We have to come out and make an identity for ourselves, and I think we did that this weekend.”
After his senior season he was named to the All Big East Second Team and an AP All American Honorable Mention. He became the heir apparent to G-Mac, finishing with the 2nd most threes in school history. His stroke was pure, his work ethic obvious, and Rautins proudly put himself as one of the great SU basketballers ever.