As we count down to the start of the basketball season, we’re going to be highlighting each member of the Syracuse basketball team. Today’s spotlight is on guard Trevor Cooney.
Trevor Cooney is coming off one of the most difficult seasons of his college basketball career.
Cooney, who came into Syracuse as his class’ 64th overall prospect and 17th-rated shooting guard, redshirted his first year on The Hill. He had to watch the games from the sidelines while perfecting his own game away from the spotlight.
“It was tough,” Cooney said. “Being a division one athlete or basketball player, you come to college to play a sport and get a good education. Then, knowing you have to sit out from what you love, which for me is playing, it was tough.”
The move had nothing to do with Cooney’s talent. The Orange was one of the deepest teams in the NCAA last year, and classmate Michael Carter-Williams struggled to find even spot duty as the team moved into the postseason.
But now that is all in the past. Syracuse fans will have an opportunity to see plenty of Cooney this season as the team’s first guard off the bench.
They’re probably going to like what they see.
“Trevor Cooney probably benefited more from last year than we ever could of hoped for because of his work ethic,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “He just went off the charts. He just really worked unbelievably hard. He did a great job in practice. He played in practice. He played the most minutes in practice of any player. I never took him out of practice. He was a really good player.”
Said Cooney: “I am really excited to start playing. I feel like it’s been forever since I really played a game. But last year I benefited because practice was so competitive.”
He also benefited from lessons from Syracuse assistant coach Gerry McNamara. The two have a lot in common, including the ability to shoot the ball.
“He was here for four years and did everything,” Cooney said. “I mostly picked up little things from him like how to get open, how to get shots and how to create for your own.”
Inside Shot: “When Gerry McNamerra and Mike Hopkins both tell you that a guy has the purest shooting stroke they’ve ever seen, I’m reasonably confident he can shoot the rock. And I think everyone agrees that Cooney can and will shoot it. He’s a three point specialist, the likes of which we haven’t seen since Andy Rautins graduated. But Rautins was also one of the smartest defenders in the history of Syracuse’s vaunted 2-3 zone. I have no idea if Cooney can play a lick of defense. He’s 6′ 4” and from the video I’ve seen, deceptively quick (at least on offense), but who knows how he’ll be at the top of the zone. He’s playing behind two guys (Triche and MCW) who are excellent defenders, so the difference between Cooney getting 15 minutes a game and 25, will be whether or not he can hold his own on the defensive end.” —Nate Federman
- Birthdate: August, 1992
- Hometown: Wilmington, Del.
- High School: Sanford School
- Position: Guard
- Class: Freshman
- Height: 6’4″
- Weight: 195lbs