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Syracuse Demolishes Monmouth: Was This Trev Cooney’s Break Out Game?

The sharpshooter lit the Dome on fire with five three’s and a career high in points.

Kevin Rivoli/AP Photo

Fourth-ranked Syracuse soars once again to reach 8-0 with a 108-56 over Monmouth. Here’s the Fizz Five takeaways from the Orange win.

Syracuse reaches the century mark with balanced scoring. The score was just 19-18 early when the Orange turned on the jets. The 108 points for Syracuse was the highest scoring output for the Orange since the six 0vertime game against UConn (127). In these types of blowout wins you’d think there would be at least one premier scorer who stood out. Not for SU, as Brandon Triche lead the way with a quiet 18 points. MCW and Trevor Cooney chipped in 15 each, CJ Fair and James Southerland managed 14, and the bigs DaJuan Coleman and Rakeem Christmas poured in 11. The question annually is who is the go-to guy is for Syracuse, but this edition may be a different player each night. Triche told The Fizz after the game what makes this offense go:

“We are the type of team that can turn it on when we need to. When we get steals and force turnovers, get out on the break into transition, [and] we’re pretty tough in transition. As a group we are just making each other better.”

An unselfish 30 assists on 42 field goals. The generosity of the Orange was terrific. Michael Carter-Williams lead the way with 16 dimes and continues to orchestrate this exciting SU offense. Ball movement and scoring off assists means efficiency and high percentage looks. The Orange had easy baskets all night because of great passing. SU capitalized on alley-oop dunks and great shots down low. When running its sets, Syracuse is always thinking to score in the paint, and if it’s not there, drive and kick for open shooters.

Trevor Coooooney knocks down five 3s. The Dome seems to jump to a new level of excitement when Cooney enters the game. It gets even higher when he’s knocking down shots with his eyes closed. Cooney led the three-point shooting for Syracuse, going 5-of-9. He finished with a career-high 15 points, and has notched double-digits the last three games. The crowd erupted each time he flicked his wrist, and it was one of those nights when it was all going in. It’s important Cooney continues to find more confidence in himself. His marksmanship can make SU even a more dangerous team, and he’ll have to hit a big shot at some point down the road. This type of game was key for that confidence. Cooney told The Fizz postgame that Southerland’s recent tear means he’ll see more defensive attention, and it’s up to the other shooters to take advantage.

“James making shots early has teams thinking James Southerland’s not making any more 3s. You can really tell that. If I come out and make shots, and Brandon comes out and makes shots, and Mike, then that’s going to open up shots for James. James is a great shooter and he’s going to make shots.”

The SU defense feeds the offense. Triche said after the game creating turnovers and getting out on the break makes this team go. Monmouth did hang around early, but Syracuse made exclamation-point plays on defense. The bigs had themselves a block party: Rak Christmas had four blocks and Bae Kieta finished with a pair. MCW even added four blocks. Carter-Williams also had five steals in a ridiculous stat line for the sophomore guard. SU forced 21 turnovers on the night, which led to tons of fast-break opportunities. Boeheim even worked in the press early in the game, and said post game it’s still a work in progress.

898 down, two more to go for Boeheim. Syracuse’s win brings Jim Boeheim one step closer to the 900 club. The Per’fesser is on pace to rack up the special honor December 17th against Detroit at the Dome. When Boeheim does nab number 900, he will simply go about his business in getting ready for the next game. He is healthy this season and has no intentions of retirement just yet. He was on last week with Brent Axe on The Score 1260, and you could feel in his tone this isn’t it for the third all-time winningest coach in D1 history. The passion is still there, and as long as Boeheim is around, this young team should continue to be one of the best in the nation.
Posted: Brendan Glasheen

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