Anthony Trautman hasn’t overachieved. What he’s done is made the most out of his abilities and reached his fullest potential.
Coming out of Lebanon High, there were concerns about Trautman’s ability to compete on the Division Three level, and especially in the rugged Commonwealth Conference. But he has responded with a solid college career, that is currently being capped by a wonderful season.
As a senior on the Lebanon Valley College men’s basketball team, Trautman has simply never performed better. The 6-0 guard is an inspirational leader, go-to guy and do-everything player for a 13-6 Flying Dutchmen that has also maxxed out its potential.
“I don’t think I’ve overachieved,” said Trautman. “I worked in the off-season and what not. I feel like this is how I envisioned by senior season playing out. I thought I struggled a little bit, early on in my career.
“Yeah, I knew I was capable of playing like this,” Trautman continued. “Last year I was dealing with injuries. This year, I knew it was time to step up.”
Currently, Trautman is second on the team in scoring and third in the Commonwealth Conference with a 17.9 points per game average. He also grabs 4.6 rebounds per outing and is the Flying Dutchmen’s leading free thrower at .815.
“I am happy,” said Trautman. “We struggled in previous years. But we all knew we were better than that. I’m having a great senior season and I’m glad for that. Hopefully we can make our season last a little longer.
“Yeah, the seniors and I talk about that (the end of careers) now and then,” continued Trautman. “It’s in the back of my mind. We still have five or six games left in the regular season, and that makes them more important.”
At the crux of Trautman’s splendid senior season has been an ability to shoot three-point shots. At Lebanon High, Trautman was a very good three-point shooter. He has matured into a great one.
Fifty-two of 107, Trautman has made an amazing 49 percent of his three-point field goal attempts, a number that is almost unheard of in basketball circles on any level. He is the second most accurate three-point shooter in the Commonwealth Conference.
“I understand that,” said Trautman, when quizzed about the proficiency of his shooting. “I’m very happy with that. I’m just trying to take good shots.
“I wouldn’t say I’m a better shooter,” added Trautman. “I’m more confident. When you have a point guard (junior Joe Meehan) like we do, it helps. My teammates being able to find me has helped a lot.”
Three-point shooting accuracy is a result of a couple of factors – practice/repitition, decison-making, locating open spots on the floor and teammates getting a shooter the ball in rhythm.
“I’m shooting the ball well, which is about time,” said Trautman. “I have confidence back in myself. Coach (Brad McAlester) has confidence in me. Each player is a piece to a puzzle, and we’re trying to make it work.
“My role is, I’d say, to score, take smart shots and to limit the mistakes I make,” Trautman added. “I sometimes slip up, but it’s also to be productive and to play team basketball. Just get the win. And when I’m on, look to score.”
With Meehan orchestrating the offense efficiently and the presence of other experienced seniors, Trautman’s role on the team can sometimes be a bit ambiguous. Plus, he’s not exactly a ‘rah-rah’ type of guy.”
“I see myself as a leader, but I’m not the most vocal on the team,” said Trautman. “In a way, I try to lead by example, let my actions do the talking.
“Our ultimate goal is to make the playoffs,” Trautman continued. “Hopefully win the playoffs and go to the NCAAs. And there’s always the ECACs. But we’re taking it one game at a time. We just want to see where this season can take us.”
Following a 5-4 start, Lebanon Valley has won eight of its last ten games. With six Commonwealth games remaining on their regular season slate, the Flying Dutchmen are battling a couple of teams for the conference’s final playoff spots.
“We’ve had our ups and downs,” said Trautman. “But we’re playing as a team. That’s where we struggled last year. And we’re having a lot of fun doing it. We’re playing exceptionally well right now. When conference play started we were like 1-4, and now we’re 4-4 and tied for fourth place.
“I think the key is our confidence,” continued Trautman. “We’ve been playing with a lot of confidence. We’re trying to set the tempo and have teams play with us. That’s what we want to keep doing.”