3 Ways Syracuse Basketballer Trevor Cooney Has Already Improved

Here’s Trevor Cooney’s dominating performance on Friday night broken down into three key points.

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The real Trevor Cooney has finally entered the Dome. The redshirt sophomore scored 27 points to rally the Orange from a 14-point deficit to beat Cornell on Friday night. As a result, he was named the ACC Player of the Week for his stellar play. It’s only one game, but what are some of the differences between this season and last for the Delaware product?

We’ll call it the three “Ps”.

Poise: The bottom line is Cooney struggled last season. He could not connect from behind the arc on a constant basis, including a handful of air balls. He just did not seem comfortable when he was on the floor. However, Cooney looked like a completely different player on Friday. With every made shot, Cooney grew more confident. Even went he missed a shot in the middle of the first half, he shook it off and went on to make his next six three-point attempts. That is something he did not do last season. For the first time since joining the Orange, it seemed as if Cooney was having fun rather than feeling every shot he took had to go in.

Pressure: That leads into the next difference. Last season, Cooney had high expectations to produce right away from the three-point line. Because he also redshirted his first year, many fans expected him to be ready during his redshirt freshman season. When he struggled to find his shot, Cooney would hear a showering of boos from the fans. It always seemed as if the boos were louder for Cooney because expectations were so high. Some people tagged him as a better shooter coming into SU than his mentor, Gerry McNamara. But the reality is fans just wanted to see him succeed. Cooney put the critics to rest this past Friday for at least a few days. He embraced the pressure for the first time since playing against Georgetown in the Big East Championship last season. Cooney finally got to show off his ability and the work he has put in with the coaching staff. Mike Hopkins constantly tweets pictures of Cooney putting in extra hours to get where he wants to be, while Gerry McNamara has worked with him closely since the beginning.

Playing time: One of the major reasons Cooney felt so much pressure to hit shots when he was on the floor was because he was not on the floor a whole lot. Brandon Triche and Michael Carter-Williams dominated the backcourt for the majority of games, with Cooney coming in off the bench in limited minutes. This season, Cooney will be expected to be on the floor for most of the game with the lack of depth in the backcourt. With Ennis running top of the key, only Trevor Cooney and Ron Patterson are listed in the backcourt at the 2-position. Michael Gbinije has tried to feel his into the top of the key but that is still a major work-in-progress. Regardless, the increase in minutes should help Cooney’s confidence throughout the season.

It will be hard to replicate what Orange Nation witnessed on Friday, but the game does give Trevor Cooney a great platform to build off of with Fordham entering the Loud House tonight. With so many questions coming into this season, it is good to see the Orange trying to answer them early.

Posted by: Zephan Mayell 

20 Comments on this Post

  1. I know it has only been a few games against poor competition but Cooney has looked pretty good.

    We need all the offensive help we can get and if he is averaging 12-18 a night then we will be so much better off.

  2. orangeinva

    We’ll see what Trevor does tonight.
    Was Friday kind of a fluke//flash in the pan? Or is Cooney ready to step up as a starter and be that #2 shooting guard. Kid hustles and plays hard. On a couple of those 3s he worked without the ball, RUNNING around picks to get half speed stuff. He just needs to be solid, Andrew states 14 a game would be great.

  3. Good reasoning about Cooney. He was not only unproductive last year, but was not as good as some high school kids. Nevertheless, hope he keeps his play up this year and turns the corner for real. Maybe the improvement is due to Ennis instead of Carter-Williams (the 2 points in final four SU point)

  4. Cornell was all about a blind squirrel finding a nut.
    Cooney reverted to true colors vs. Fordham garnering twice as many fouls as points. His ACC POTW was the mirage I thought it was.
    This guy is a bust plain and simple.

  5. Jcase,

    That’s just a bad assessment. Cooney needed to step up /w grant out and Ennis and the young guys struggling a bit in the cornell game. Last night grant was back and Ennis and our bigs played well. He only took 6 shots last night had some foul problems but he really wasn’t needed last night. Still like to see him in double figures every game though but he’s far from a bust.

  6. @jcase;

    What are you talking about? By the time Trevor graduateshe’s going to be reconized as one of the greats ever to play the game at Syracuse. I feel his shooting,scoring,hustle attributes are equal to Jerry MacNamara. Now if you remember Jerry started his career real strong as a freshman and never had another season like the first as where Trevor started slowly and is going to be all league by the time he finishes. Could even go pro after graduation and I feel the best is yet to come.

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