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Things are still pretty up in the air for the Syracuse University basketball program when it comes to recruiting, with long time top target Tyus Battle headed to Michigan while Jim Boeheim and his staff scramble to come up with an outstanding backup option at the point for the class of 2016. One such option is Kevin Huerter, who actually may wind up playing in the class of 2017. Based on his recent play, however, it’s starting to look like he could be exactly what the Orange staff is looking for right now.

Huerter is a 6-foot-5, 180 pound guard from Clifton Park, New York, and based on his size, his frame, and his high all around skill level he’s going to remind a lot of Syracuse fans of another former upstate New York product: Andy Rautins. Only when it comes to Huerter, he’s already got what looks to be a better all around game, starting first and foremost with his superior athleticism.

The way I’d actually describe Huerter is “an athletic Andy Rautins” because while he’s got the smooth shooting stroke and great court vision like Rautins, what sets him apart is his very underrated athleticism. Huerter is currently ranked outside the top 100, but expect that to change over the course of the summer as he continues his scorching play with the Albany City Rocks AAU team.

Earlier today, Huerter torched the Southern Stampede (Ga.) team for 30 points, knocking down 8-of-14 three pointers. That comes on the heels of having scored 16 (with a 4-of-8 performance from deep) against Alabama Challenge, so over his last two AAU games he’s averaging 23.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.5 rebounds, and shooting nearly 55% from beyond the arc. As he continues to perform at such a high level, you an expect to see his profile rise on the national level.

Right now, the Orange have offered Huerter a scholarship with the stipulation that they want him to go for a year of prep school before joining the class of 2017. He’s mentioned being open to this path, but if he continues to trend upward on the national level there may not be any point, other than to let him catch up to his peers physically, as he’s young for his grade and even as recently as a year ago, was just 6-foot-2.

It’s easy to get excited watching Huerter’s game highlights, because he’s the type of player that Syracuse has been seriously lacking in recent years, with an extremely well rounded offensive game and, most importantly, the ability to be an absolutely lights out three point shooter. I already mentioned his athleticism, and another thing that right now separates him from Andy Rautins as a scorer is the fact that while Rautins was almost exclusively perimeter oriented, Huerter shows a nice ability to get into the lane and finish with either a pull up jumper or get to the rim and finish with either hand. I am one of the biggest Andy Rautins fans in the world, but I really think that Huerter has a chance to be a superior player at the college level. And while he’s pretty much a prototype shooting guard, his ball handling and court vision are more than adequate to help out at the point guard position from time to time.

I don’t know about any of you guys, but I would take that in a heartbeat.

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Jeff is a 2003 graduate of Syracuse University, and has been published on various websites including Cracked.com, Spike.com, TheSportster.com, Gunaxin.com, and TopTenz.net, among others. His work was featured in the New York Times bestselling book You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News. He's got a wife, and a toddler he's brainwashing to love Syracuse. Jeff's a pretty great guy, overall, and would never steal your car. Follow him on Twitter: @jekelish

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