Canadian Basketball, I wish Andy knew how to quit you. But he doesn't, so he's going back for more.
The Syracuse University guard embarked Thursday on a whirlwind tour of Italy with Team Canada. The Canadians will play six games in eight days against national teams from Italy, Turkey and Angola. Team Canada returns to Toronto for training camp Aug. 12-16 before departing again, this time for Puerto Rico and the FIBA Americas Qualifying Tournament. That event, held from Aug. 26-Sept. 6, will determine which teams qualify for the 2010 World Championships in Turkey.
That's right. We might very well see Andy line up on the other side of the court from Coach Boeheim. The big questions is...does Jimmy B tell his players to sweep the leg? Hey, you do what you gotta do to win the World Basketball Championships, right? All's fair in love and arbitrary basketball tournaments.
Andy will of course be coached once again by his dad, Leo Rautins. Papa Rauts won't employ Andy at the point as much as he did last year though he admits that they system is set up so that he'll be working at both guard slots.
Of course, I couldn't let the moment pass without mentioning my favorite Leo-Andy moment from last year's Olympic qualifiers, courtesy of Papa Rauts:
"Two years ago we were in Slovenia, and something happened that I didn't necessarily like, and I looked [Andy] right in the eye and said 'Understand something, one of us won't be here. Either you'll get cut or I'll get fired, but I won't get fired because of you."
Really, Andy, sounds like a hoot.
Little Rautins does plan on taking advantage of the local delicacies while in Italy:
"Love the pasta," he said, "and the sauce."
Gravy, Andrew. Call it gravy.