Triche eases into starting role

Louis Dale was helpless.

The 2007-08 Ivy League Player of the Year and Honorable Mention All-American feebly chased Syracuse guard Brandon Triche as the true freshman barreled down the lane toward the hoop at the Jim Boeheim Court.

With a step on Dale, Triche was met in the lane by 2008-09 Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year Jeff Foote, a towering 7-foot, 265 pound center along with another Cornell defender. Triche split the help and, while reducing the rest of the Big Red to spectators, gracefully kissed the ball off the backboard and through the basket while drawing contact from Dale for a conventional 3-point play.

Dale, a senior, could only throw his hands up in disgust as Triche added three of his team-high 21 points that night en route to a 88-73 victory on Nov. 24. What was more frustrating for Dale was that with Triche manning the top of the Syracuse 2-3 zone, Dale was held to just three points on 1-for-6 shooting and five turnovers.

“One of the main focal points of my game was just being strong,” Triche said. “I work out every day just to be that way.”

Syracuse fans, meet your new starting point guard.

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Rautins becomes more than just a shooter

The Syracuse faithful inside the Carrier Dome were stunned.

Their beloved Orange, who was ranked No. 14 in the country, was being tracked down by Coppin State – who was 1-7 at the time – late in the second half of a game that should’ve been well in hand at that point.

It was December 28, 2008, a time in Syracuse’s schedule reserved for blowout victories against inferior opponents. Instead, with 8:35 left, Syracuse clung to a 61-57 lead, and was searching desperately for any kind of spark.

And that is when junior guard Andy Rautins took over.

Over the next three minutes, Rautins would carry the Orange with three 3-pointers, and with 5:38 remaining, the Orange had established a 72-59 lead en route to an 82-71 win. All was safe, except for Gerry McNamara’s all-time school record for three point goals in a game.

McNamara now had company on top of that list as Rautins finished with 29 points on 9-of-16 from downtown, tying McNamara’s record that was set against BYU in the second round of the NCAA tournament in 2004.

“That’s great company,” Rautins said. “[McNamara] was a legend here.”

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