Effort, grit and hustle became what Trevor Cooney was known for. It did not always translate into big time performances, impressive statistics or game winning shots, but Cooney always gave everything he had every time he stepped onto the floor. On Saturday, on college basketball's biggest stage Cooney did both.
He left every bit of himself on the NRG Stadium court and with it a fantastic performance. Unfortunately for Cooney and the Orange, it came in a loss.
Despite that, Cooney's 22 point outing on 9-18 shooting was a fitting way to end his time with Syracuse. He has been an often ridiculed player throughout has career, but continued to pour everything he had into every game.
Saturday night, with his team trying to muster another epic comeback, Cooney was visibly exhausted. It seemed as if he had nothing less. But he did what he always has, he fought. Cooney drove to the basket, hit threes and tried to force turnovers in the press.
The comeback did not materialize. Sometimes, things just don't work out from that standpoint.
During this magical run that the 2015-16 Orange took Syracuse fans on in the NCAA Tournament, Cooney has been fantastic. Cooney shot the ball well, did not force shots, played excellent defense and added the dribble-drive to his game.
When Syracuse fans look back at Trevor Cooney's career, here's hoping they do so fondly and remember this run. Without Cooney's contributions, Syracuse is not in the Final Four. He put together arguably the best game of his career in what was the biggest game of his career.
You can't ask for much more than that.