Peeling Back The Orange

By Josh Herwitt - August 28, 2007

Months after getting what many thought was a major snub from the NCAA Tournament selection committee, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim is losing out again.

This time, however, it's with his three-point sniper Andy Rautins, who will miss the entire 2007-08 season after tearing his ACL in his right knee and spraining his MCL in the other while playing for Canada at the FIBA Americas Championship in Las Vegas this summer.

Known primarily for his perimeter shooting capabilities, the 6-foot-5, 175-pound guard out of Jamesville, N.Y. showed last season that he can shoot it from anywhere on the floor, averaging 7.2 points with 67 of his 82 field goals coming from beyond the arc.

But now that Rautins is out of the picture, Boeheim will have to rely on a five-guard rotation that features junior Eric Devendorf, senior Josh Wright, sophomore Paul Harris and two freshmen in Jonny Flynn and Antonio "Scoop" Jardine.

That could still be enough firepower for 'Cuse, who opens its season in the NIT Tipoff before welcoming Atlantic 10 contenders Fordham, UMass and Rhode Island to the Carrier Dome.

Hoosiers Lose Ratliff

Out in Bloomington, Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson is dealing with a similar situation as Boeheim after announcing Saturday that senior guard A.J. Ratliff will miss the first part of the 2007-08 season.

Sampson confirmed that Ratliff will be ineligible due to academic reasons, but he could regain his eligibility if his grades improve after the first semester.

Losing Ratliff, who averaged 9.3 points and 2.3 rebounds and shot 40.7 percent from three in 2006-07, could make it tough on the Hoosiers' backcourt, though, as Sampson will need freshman guards Jordan Crawford and Eric Gordon to step into the offense right away and score the ball in big preseason games against Georgia Tech, Southern Illinois and Kentucky.

Posted by Josh Herwitt at 10:42 AM on August 28, 2007

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