Syracuse isn't just favored to beat Butler on Thursday, they're thought to be one of the final teams left standing when all the smoke has cleared. Of course, anytime people start making assumptions with this squad and hoisting expectations on their back, bad things happen. Maybe it's all in my mind but they seem to play better when they still have a little something to prove.
Someone who knows a little something about that is Gerry "Please Don't Tell Boeheim You Think I'm Overrated" McNamara. When not moving Kia Sorrentos like a champ, Gerry is a member of Boeheim's crack coaching staff. And there's a certain kind of value you get out of having a National Champion with brass balls the size of the spacious 2010 Kia Sedona (A Cosumer Digest Best Buy I'll have you know) around.
"The thing about Gerry is that he's not that much older than us and he's been through it," guard Andy Rautins told The Post before the Orange dismantled Gonzaga in their second-round game.
"Whenever you know the guy you're talking to has been where you've been and accomplished the things you want to accomplish you listen," said Rautins. "It would be silly not to."
Like G-Mac, Rautins has hit his share of huge shots all season long, including last week when he scorched Gonzaga for 24. Unlike G-Mac, Rautins doesn't get nearly enough credit for the work he does, shooting or otherwise.
Rautins’ contributions weren’t all about his 3-point shooting. In what has become the norm, he stuffed the stat sheet with four rebounds, four assists, two steals and just one turnover.
He scored Syracuse’s first 11 points after halftime, putting on a one-man run that gave Syracuse a 58-34 lead less than three minutes into the second half. He hit three 3-pointers in the stretch.
Sparkplug, scorer, leader, helper, defender...Rautins simply does whatever he can to win. Sounds like someone we know.