In Saturday evening’s whopping 93-65 victory against Binghamton, five of Syracuse’s players reached double figures in scoring. However, it was Trevor Cooney’s 17 points that made it clear to fans that his shooting stroke is here to stay.
Syracuse was slow to start the game, allowing the Bearcats to hit several easy 3s in the opening minutes.
“It wasn’t pretty. We didn’t come out ready to play,” Cooney said of the sluggish beginning. “We had four big games and then we had this game, but you know you have to treat every game the same. And when you don’t, that’s what happens to you.”
After finding themselves down by 8 points only 4 minutes into the game, the Orange employed a full-court press, which sparked an 18-0 run. Syracuse would be in firm control after that.
“We were able to get them into spots and make them make tough decisions,” Cooney said. “We were able to cause some turnovers, and when your press works for you, it gets you going pretty much.”
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Once the Orange found its groove, it did not take Cooney long to find his. Overall, the Wilmington, DE native shot 50 percent, going 5 for 9 from 3-point range. He also had an impressive showing on the defensive end, contributing one block and four steals.
Cooney’s stellar performance this season is a complete 180 from where he was last year. In the 2012-13 season, he averaged a mere 3.4 points per game. This season, he is already boasting an average of 15.3 points per game.
Out of the nine games that Syracuse has played this year, last night’s matchup is the eighth time Cooney has been in double figures.
“Over the last two years I’ve just worked so much on my game,” Cooney said. “This summer, it was a lot of my legs, just getting them in great shape,” he revealed. “If you want to be a good shooter you have to have great legs, and I did a good job of getting them in shape this summer.”
Cooney explained how his mental attitude has been extremely important to his consistency so far this year.
“It’s really just about staying positive, believing in yourself and staying confident,” he elaborated. He also gave credit to his fellow teammates, stating that, “When you have teammates who are setting good screens for you and finding good spots, all you’ve go to do is let it go. It’s easy from there.”
Looking ahead, Cooney aims to extend his sharp-shooting streak and is excited for the Orange to continue to build itself as a team.
“We are a really good team, we’ve got some good players–but you have got to keep building and getting better,” he said. “No team is at its best right now at this point in the season, and you don’t want to be. But you have to keep coming out and working hard.”
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