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The Complicated Legacy of Trevor Cooney

Oh, Trevor Cooney. What do we do with him? On one hand, he is one of the best three point shooters the Orange has ever had, ranking third in the program in made threes. On the other hand, he was unable to live up to high expectations of being “the next Gerry McNamara” and frustrated fans.

But instead of looking at what Cooney didn’t do, let’s look at what he did do.

Cooney is one of 9 players in Syracuse history who has scored 1200+ points, dished out 200+ assists and picked up 200+ steals. Others who have done that include Gerry McNamara, Pearl Washington, Sherman Douglas and Dale Shackleford. It’s more or less a who’s who of Syracuse guards– and Cooney is on that list!

Add on top of that the fact that Cooney is the only player in SU history to play in two Final Fours, yes he was a rotation player on the 2013 team. And sure, he took a shot at the end of the Michigan game that year in a spot that he shouldn’t have been in. But that doesn’t mean he lost the game for the Orange.

I realize that Cooney has been something of a lightning rod as of late, especially on local radio shows where even the mention of his name leads to the phone lines being jammed for the next hour. But I don’t really get it.

Cooney was pushed into an impossible situation. He’s someone who’d be great on most teams as the third or fourth option on the team, but unfortunately for him has been pressed into being one of the top 2 options on a team in back to back years.

Has he been the reason the Orange has lost some games over the past few years? Possibly. Has he been the reason the Orange has won some games the last few years? Absolutely.

Cooney was a solid defensive player, as shown by his 209 career steals at the top o the 2-3 zone. On offense, Cooney averaged 10.8 points per game over his career, but that number jumps to 12.8 per game when you take away his 3.4 points per game from his freshman year.

Look, I’m not trying to say Trevor Cooney was a great player, just saying that he was a good player and maybe a bit under appreciated by a vocal segment of Syracuse fans.

After missing a shot at the buzzer that would have beaten Pitt and at the time locked up the Orange’s Tournament bid, Cooney got a chance to “rewrite” his ending at Syracuse. And if you look at the stats, that’s exactly what he did. Over five Tournament games, Cooney averaged 14 points, 2.5 assists and 1.8 steals. On top of that, Cooney finished strong with 22 points on 9 of 18 shooting.

Cooney always caught flack, and maybe it was because he couldn’t live up to pretty ridiculous expectations that he’d be “The Next GMac” but it turns out he had a pretty good SU career as a 3 year starter and 4 year rotation player who became the first Orange player ever to appear in multiple Final Fours.

Posted By: Seth Goldberg

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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