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Syracuse Orange Blogger Awards - Most Surprising Player

Welcome to the Syracuse Orange Blogger Awards, a selection of official unofficial accolades for the Syracuse 2006-2007 basketball season. Every hour until 6pm EST today, tomorrow and Friday, one of your trusty Cuse bloggers will be posting a new award winner, which varies from on-court triumphs to off-the-court hijinks.

Up first is the Most Surprising Player of the Year Award.

Surprise is defined as a feeling of shock due to something perceived as unexpected. I'd love to do a big tease here, show you a bunch of different players who are worth nomination for this award and then do a big drumroll announcing the winner. But by looking at the definition, that pretty much only leaves one guy to meet all the criteria.
I'll let the Orange Bloggers explain their selections:

Howie Mansfield, Sports Night With Howie Mansfield - His dad Leo was one of Syracuse's best players back in the day, so you hoped that some of the talent would carry over. I don't know that I expected the type of energy that Andy provided the team down the stretch. Unfortunately, he didn't score many points in the big games, but he had some huge 3s along the way. He will only improve under this great coaching staff.

OrangeRay, OrangeHoops - I actually had high expectations for Andy Rautins to develop into a solid college player with a decent three point shot, though I did not expect that to occur until next year. So, while I’m not surprised at his development but I am surprised at the timing on it.

Matt Glaude, Orange44 - [Andy] Rautins, for all intents and purposes, became the necessary cog for Syracuse's fortunes in the last half of the season. His outside shooting was a tremendous asset for the Orange this year, as the team finally found the three offensive options that Boeheim so often touts as a key to victory. Runner-Up: Paul Harris - Did you know that Harris hit only one three-point shot this season?

Josh, Cuse Country - Andy Rautins. Nobody expected much from him this year outside of the occasional spot-up three. Definitely not that he would be starting and that his play would end up being the tipping point between winning and losing.

Tim, Cuse Country - I was going to say Paul Harris, because who really thought he'd score 8 points and grab 7 rebounds a game this year? But as The Syracusan pointed out, falling well short of Big East Freshman of the Year expectations is not the kind of surprise this
category was meant to highlight. So it's got to be Andy Rautins, from whom nothing much was expected and something, on occasion, was received.

And as for myself - Andy Rautins. He’s scrawny and brittle but he’s got heart and a killer three-point shot. The latest edition of the "scrappy white guy who can shoot the long ball" was a welcome surprise this season, especially after Josh Wright shit the bed.

DutchHart over at Getting Back to '03 also agreed, so there you have it, in a rout the award for Most Surprising Player goes to Mr. Andy Rautins. Andy, your SOBA is in the mail.

Now that you know the winner of that award, be sure to check in with Orange44 in an hour (1pm EST) to find out the winner of the next award, Favorite Jim Boeheim Quote of the Year. I'll see you back here tomorrow.