Trevor Cooney, a junior guard for the Syracuse Orange men's basketball team, has been the easiest punching bag for fans in need of something to complain about. Just two games in, well, four games if you include the two preseason contests (and we will in this case)–Cooney has made five of his 22 3-point attempts (22.7%).
His consistent early-season struggles have led to a lot of criticism from the fan base and already a few featured articles at TNIAAM, including this one.
Yet, for those ready to toss Mr. Cooney under the bus and give his playing minutes to Ron Patterson, consider this after two regular-season games (via. Syracuse.com).
Despite some of his shooting woes, Syracuse shooting guard Trevor Cooney has the best plus-minus by a wide margin for the Orange. When he's been on the court the Orange is +66 in point differential.
Cooney was a team-best +48 against Kennesaw State in the opener and +18 against Hampton. His number against Hampton trailed only Chris McCullough's +19.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is why head coach Jim Boeheim isn't going to give up on Cooney anytime soon. Sure, he might tell him to take better shots, but he is never going to bench him for poor shooting because he does a lot of other things well too. He is a complete two-guard (when he is making shots).
Now, these stats and this quick article will not ignore the importance of Cooney's long distance shooting. If the Orange want to be successful he will need to make a lot more threes than he is currently making. However, the overall importance of Trevor, Jerry or Timothy Cooney to this squad needs to not just be judged on one stat.
|Trevor Cooney (hidden attributes)||STL||ASTS||REB||(+/-)||(FGA/FGM)|
|Vs. Kennesaw State||2||3||2||(+48)||(5-7)|
Side note: the Syracuse.com piece by Jason Murray does a fantastic job of breaking down lineups the Orange have played in the first two games. According to the piece, the best five guys on the floor have been Cooney, Rakeem Christmas, Chris McCullough, Kaleb Joseph and Tyler Roberson (+20).
It will be interesting to see how things play out over a 30-game season.