Trevor Cooney has struggled since the start of conference play. He finished 2-12 from beyond the arc, despite good looks, against both Miami and North Carolina. When Cooney is playing well, it makes the Syracuse offense as dynamic as it gets in college basketball.
On Monday night against Boston College, the Orange were struggling once again. Cooney stepped up to help turn the tide, but did so in an abnormal fashion.
When Cooney is right, he is drilling outside shots which helps stretch the opposing defense. This gives driving lanes for Tyler Ennis, C.J. Fair and Jerami Grant. The redshirt sophomore showed off the versatility in his game against the Eagles.
Cooney finished the game with a game-high 21 points on 8-13 shooting. Only two of those makes were from beyond the arc. He had three dunks, a couple layups and even a floater along the baseline. Cooney grabbed an offensive rebound and had two steals on the night.
It was an all-around game that shows the progression of Trevor Cooney. That he can impact a game even if he's not hitting his outside shot. His ability to jump into passing lanes and create deflections has gone unnoticed by most this season. Yet he sits in second place in steals per game in the ACC, behind only teammate Tyler Ennis.
Cooney continues to grow within the vaunted 2-3 zone. He has great footwork and underrated wing span that combine with his strong defensive instincts to make him a force on that end of the floor.
Adding an ability to finish in the open floor with two thunderous dunks, as well as drive and finish at the rim, shows that Cooney could be blossoming into a big time threat in college basketball.
Syracuse's backcourt has been fantastic all season. Tyler Ennis has received most of the accolades. But Trevor Cooney, or whatever announcers across the country want to call him, could be the key to another Final Four run.