I will continue my look at some of the less hyped seniors in this year's draft with one of the most undervalued players in college basketball this past season - Andy Rautins - 6'4, 195 Guard from Syracuse (12.1 ppg, 5.0 apg, 3.4 rpg, 41% 3FG%). Rautins will be more the exception in this series which will focus mainly on smaller schools and conferences. However, Rautins was a major part of a Syracuse team which spent time at Number 1 this season, yet he was overshadowed by Wesley Johnson, and even the tandem of big men - Onuaku and Jackson - seemed to get more attention then Rautins. The question is - Is Andy Rautins an NBA player?
The Good- Rautins had spent his first three seasons as an off-the-bench shooter, but this season he transitioned over to being the team's primary point guard as well as the primary deep threat. He has great range on his jumper, has a quick release and consistent follow-through. He has the ability to shoot off of the catch or dribble, though he is more comfortable off the dribble. As the team's primary point, he showed very good patience running the offense and showed excellent passing skills. Defensively, he does a strong job guarding on the perimeter and he finds ways to disrupt passing lanes. He also does a good job closing well on shooters.
The Not-So-Good- Rautins needs to be more aggressive looking for his shot. Too often he was so busy facilitating the offense that he didn't realize the openings he had. To go along with this, he needs to become more adept at penetrating and going to the basket. He is a very strong free throw shooter (81.5%), so he needs to try and draw as many attempts as he can. His athleticism is suspect which affects him on both ends of the floor. While he does a good job controlling the offense for the team, his ball-handling skills are just average and he is susceptible to defenders pressuring him. On defense, he needs to improve his positioning and his lateral movement. He has spent 4 years playing zone defense, so there is a question how he will fare playing almost exclusively man defense. Overall, he needs to become more assertive and more physical on both ends of the floor to make up for his lack of athleticism.
The Verdict- While Rautins may not seem to have the athleticism of an NBA player, he is skilled enough and smart enough to make you forget this. I don't see him being a starter at the next level, but he would be great as multi-position role-player. His best shot at being drafted would be a team that needs added guard production off the bench and an extra perimeter shooter. The right situation would see him being picked near the end of the 2nd round, though if he is undrafted I would expect him to have his choice of camps in the fall. Make sure to come back tomorrow for our look at the underclassmen decisions from the last week.