With 16 seconds left and Syracuse down by three points, senior and three-point specialist Trevor Cooney had the opportunity to play hero. Cooney has made plenty of three-pointers throughout his career at Syracuse, and with Michael Gbinije having fouled out just seconds prior, he suddenly had the opportunity to hit the biggest three of the season.
Not surprisingly–at least to anyone who has watched Syracuse play recently–he missed. A quick Seminoles layup later and that was it, Florida State 78 - Syracuse 73.
While Cooney ended the game with 12 points, he took 16 shots to get there–finishing the afternoon shooting just four-for-16 from the field and two-for-10 from behind the arc. For comparison's sake, Gbinije nearly doubled Cooney's scoring output, finishing with 21 points, and took three fewer shots to do it–shooting eight-for-12 from the field.
Throughout his Orange career, Cooney has shown flashes of his shooting potential–including his dominating 11-for-15 33-point performance against Notre Dame in the 2013-2014 season– yet, they have gradually come too few and far between.
Since his 22-point outing against the Irish on Jan. 28, Cooney has finished a game shooting above 40 percent from the field just once. Here's how his recent nine-game shooting slump breaks down:
- Georgia Tech: 3-for-12 FG, 1-for-5 3pt
- Virginia Tech: 2-for-10 FG, 2-for-8 3pt
- Florida State: 3-for-11 FG, 2-for-7 3pt
- Boston College: 3-for-9 FG, 2-for-5 3pt
- Louisville: 6-for-14 FG, 5-for-10 3pt
- Pittsburgh: 1-for-9 FG, 1-for-7 3pt
- NC State: 1-for-8 FG, 0-for-6 3pt
- North Carolina: 3-for-11 FG, 2-for-7 3pt
- Florida State: 4-for-16 FG, 2-for-10 3pt
As a whole, throughout this nine-game stretch, Cooney is shooting a combined 26-100 from the field, 26.00 percent, and 17-65 from the three-point line, 26.15 percent. Only against Louisville did Cooney make more than four shots. Ironically, his one solid shooting performance was all for naught as Syracuse ended up losing to the Cardinals by 14 points.
Head coach Jim Boeheim has repeatedly said in the past they need at least two or three guys to shoot the ball well in order to be in a position to win games. With the way Cooney has been shooting recently, he shouldn't be expected to be one of those three players.