Sure Knicks rookie Andy Rautins has only played three NBA games so far this year, but that was to be expected. Why? Because after being the starting shooting guard at Syracuse last season, where he finished his career second on the school’s all-time list with 282 career three-point field goals made, Rautins has had to make the transition to the point. We got up with Andy recently to chat about his rookie season and Syracuse hoops.
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Dime: What has been the biggest transition for you from college to the NBA?
Andy Rautins: I think for me it is the transition to point guard. Trying to be more of a combo-guard, I’m learning everyday. I’m getting better at it, especially learning from guys like Ray [Felton] and Toney Douglas. The speed of the game takes a little adjusting to, but that comes with time.
Dime: What did you do this summer to prepare?
AR: I was training down in Dallas with a guy named Kyle Meadows. It was great. It worked for me and I hope to go back down there this summer. I just need to continue working my tail off.
Dime: Is there anything you wish you knew before making it to the League that would have helped you?
AR: Other than rookie duties, I don’t think there’s much that you can expect. You know the schedule’s going to be crazy and you know the workload’s going to be tough, but those are all things you got to handle being a rookie in the League. It’s been a pleasure so far, and I continue to work hard everyday.
Dime: What was the craziest thing you’ve had to do for rookie hazing?
AR: We almost bought out Target for bathroom supplies and toiletries. (laughs) But it’s not too bad. They’ve been pretty good to us so I can’t complain.
Dime: How much do you talk to the ‘Cuse guys?
AR: I talk to Wes [Johnson] every now and then, but he stays pretty busy now. When Jonny [Flynn] was hurt I was talking to him. I talk to most of the guys almost everyday. I talk to Arinze [Onuaku], Scoop [Jardine] and Kris [Joseph] too. We’re a pretty close-knit group and we’ll probably continue to stay that way.
Dime: How do you predict Syracuse is going to do this year?
AR: Good. I think the boys are going to do good. I just think somebody really needs to step up as a definitive leader. They have all the talent in the world, so if they continue to work hard and stay together there’s no stopping them.
Dime: Do you think they’re the clear-cut frontrunners in the Big East?
AR: I don’t know if they’re the clear-cut. I know that Pitt’s returning a lot of guys, a bunch of veterans on their team. But if they stay together and they don’t let anything stand in their way, they can definitely contend for the top spot.
Dime: In terms of prospects, do you think Kris Joseph has what it takes to make the jump to the NBA next year?
AR: I think he’s got the talent for sure, it just depends what kind of year he has to be honest with you. That kid, the sky’s the limit for him. He can do a little bit of everything. If he really expands his game and he knocks down his three-point shots this year, I think there is no telling how high he can go.
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