Trevor Cooney’s hand is on fire.
For the third straight game Cooney has provided the Orange with consistent outside shooting, which has seemingly opened up the floor for guys like Rakeem Christmas and Michael Gbinije to get good looks at the basket.
Monday against Colgate was just another step in the right direction for Syracuse as the looked to bounce back following a tough loss on the road at Villanova.
Right from the opening tip it looked to be Syracuse’s night shooting-wise. Cooney sank a 3-pointer to start the scoring for Syracuse on his way to 20 points, 12 of which came from beyond the arc. On the night, Cooney was an efficient 8-of-15 (4-of-9 3PT) from the floor.
Add in Christmas’ third double-double of the season (16 points, 11 rebounds) and Gbinije scoring in double-figures (11 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists) for the fourth time in five games and it looks like the Orange is snapping out of it’s offensive slump that had everyone worried at the start of the year.
Using a slew of pick-and-rolls, quick handoffs and backdoor cuts, the Orange was able to space the floor and get easy shots, which haven’t come often early in the season. Cooney and Gbinije were able to knock down “tough” 3-pointers and reserve guard Ron Patterson got in on the action as well, knocking down three 3-pointers of his own on his way to a career-high 13 points.
But the biggest concern coming out of the win is in the struggles of freshman forward Chris McCullough. The 6’10” forward shot just 1-of-6 from the floor to finish with 4 points.
“As a lottery pick, I don’t know how he could struggle,” Jim Boeheim said. “I have a better chance of winning the lottery [than McCullough does of being a lottery pick] and I don’t even buy tickets.”
Harsh words from the Per’fesser, but maybe some tough love is what McCullough needs to get back to early-season form.
Posted: Josh Carney