You hate Trevor Cooney.
You have your reasons. They're ironclad. They're also based in little more than Syracuse Orange fans' desperate desire to hate a member of the program's most successful teams. Like Scoop Jardine and others before him, you're asking a lot of Cooney, and you expect him to deliver.
Problem is, he has. Unless you're simply asking for too much.
I'm not even an exception to the group above. I've had plenty negative to say about Cooney throughout his career at SU, and was one of MANY of us who utilized the since-retired term "Scoopid" for a couple years in the midst of Jardine's career as well. Scoop redeemed himself to many fans by career's end. There's simply no way you can deny Cooney's done the same, unless you never wanted him to win in the first place.
Following last night's 83-66 loss to the North Carolina Tar Heels, Cooney reflected on the game and his career. He told the media attendees it was tough, but he was proud of the team and the job they'd done. He complimented UNC for their efforts. He felt very fortunate to be part of the Syracuse program (he used the word family) for the last five years.
We should feel fortunate too.
Relationships, regardless of their nature -- friends, love interests, acquaintances, family, co-workers, favorite teams -- can and do ebb and flow. Such was the case with our relationship with Cooney. It largely started with a missed shot against Michigan in the 2013 Final Four. It ended with the team's best performance in the 2016 Final Four. Both games were losses. Neither was decided by Cooney alone. Trevor (or Gerry, Tyler, Terry or the others) played limited minutes against the Wolverines three years back and missed an important shot that never should've been his to begin with. This year, he scored a third of Syracuse's points and nearly sparked a monumental second-half rally on his own.
For one game -- his last -- he was the team's MVP, a designation that no official has or will bestow upon him, but they also shouldn't need to. For many SU fans, that realization is obvious. He's already redeemed himself in many ways by shifting his role into a scrappy defender and hustle guy. Cooney had to re-adopt his old role as the team's "YOLO" sharpshooter. Amazingly, he almost pulled it off.
If you didn't notice, you were always asking too much of him. Because time and time again, Trevor Cooney has been exactly what you've asked him to be... if you were being realistic.
The comparisons rained down on Cooney from the time he walked on campus. A 4-star shooter, he succeeded Jardine and immediately earned the ire of what was left of Scoop's detractors. Being a white guard for Syracuse automatically meant comparisons to Eric Devendorf and Gerry McNamara, the latter of whom would end up coaching Cooney during his time at SU. Devo had a clutch gene like none other than Gerry, but found himself in the crosshairs of Orange fans for a demonstrative style of play... and not being McNamara. McNamara, of course, is among the most beloved players in SU history. You can see where these things became problematic for Cooney.
To some, he was supposed to be these players. He was never going to be, and that's why you may hate him.
But that's why you asked too much of him. And that's why you're still disappointed.
Trevor Cooney ended his career as a senior leader that played on two Final Four teams (one of just two SU players to ever do so). He scored over 1,000 points wearing an Orange uniform. He had a 30-game run at one point in his career that made him one of the most dangerous shooters in college basketball -- a reputation that never went away despite him cooling off after, a fact that probably haunted his career too. Cooney also managed five rebounds and three steals -- all at critical moments, all with the desire to win the game for his team when it seemed like no other player could.
He fell short. More accurately, Syracuse fell short. But if you're hell-bent on it, you'll find a way to put this on Trevor too.
When Cooney was asked about his 22-point performance after the game, he said it didn't matter. If you asked too much of him, last night or throughout his time at Syracuse, you'd probably say it didn't matter too.