As Trevor Cooney's Syracuse Orange career comes to a close, it's time to honor the real heroes: His parents, Mary & Brian Cooney.
As Donna Ditota notes, The Cooneys bought a Buick Enclave the month Trevor's Syracuse basketball career began and in the five years since have racked up 146,000 miles trying to see as many of his games as possible. They must've spent all the money they saved with Trevor's scholarship on gas.
This season alone, for Trevor Cooney's final college basketball fling, the Cooneys have put 14,582 miles on their Enclave. They've traveled between their home in suburban Wilmington, Del., to Syracuse 20 times to watch Orange home games, including Saturday's final Dome appearance for Trevor and Michael Gbinije. They've watched Syracuse play at Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, Duke, Boston College and North Carolina. A Charlottesville blizzard prevented the couple from seeing Trevor play at Virginia.
The Cooneys also traveled to the Battle 4 Atlantis and road games at Miami and Louisville, so they're basically better Orange fans than you and I will ever be (at least until next year).
Its still not as impressive as Kristof Ongenaet's parents taking a $500 cab ride from New York City to Syracuse, but it's impressive nonetheless.
For his part, Trevor's appreciated the effort.
"I really like that they come," Trevor Cooney said. "It means so much to me. The fact that they're able to come to home games, that played a factor in me coming here, just how close it was. Their support, it means a lot."
Speaking of Trevor and appreciation, how Syracuse fans will remember Cooney is something we're probably not going to come to a consensus on in the short-term. While a lot of people will tell you they were constantly-frustrated with the shooter, he was also racking up huge point totals and often hitting clutch shots to help the Orange win.
But as Brent Axe writes, just mentioning his name conjurs twenty different ideas to twenty different SU fans.
Do you think of the player that single-handily beat Notre Dame with 33 points (including nine 3-pointers) in 2014 or the one who put up that awkward shot against Michigan in the 2013 Final Four.
Do you look at the stat that he is on pace to finish third in minutes played this season (37.2) in the ACC (he finished second in the ACC in minutes played last year with 37.29 per game) and think "that a boy" or "that's too much?"
Do you think of the kid who is always at his locker, no matter the type of game, to address the media, has already worked up a sweat three hours before every game at the Carrier Dome and is hounded like a heat-seeking missile game-after-game by opposing defenses?
Or do you think of the player who is the shooting equivalent of a box of chocolates … you never know what you are going to get.
Because of his focus and, let's face it, skin tone, he's always going to be held up the high standard that Gerry McNamara commands, not to mention comparisons to shooters like Andy Rautins and Eric Devendorf. We might find out that we miss Cooney more than we realized we would after he's gone. Or maybe you won't. In fact, it'll probably depend on the Orange fan.
I can think of at least one thing we'll all miss, no matter what.