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Syracuse - Cornell Postgame Reactions OR Hey Trevor!

Where has this Trevor Cooney been?

The Syracuse Orange opened the 2013-2014 season Friday night against upstate rival Cornell. Since the Big Red's run through the NCAA Tournament a few years ago, they've gone back to their traditional role as a cupcake. Maybe that was the attitude the Orange had straight from the opening tip, because Cornell was able to exploit something. They were hitting their shots, forcing turnovers, catching the Orange a step behind. The result? At one time, a 14-point Cornell lead. Ugh. But Trevor Cooney -- Trevor Cooney -- kept Syracuse in this, especially with a couple huge threes late in the first half to close the gap to six. Syracuse actually had some great momentum going into halftime, only down 38-32. The first half was just the preview of the Cooney Show. He opened it all up in the second half, helping Syracuse tie and take the lead, ultimately never giving up the lead once Syracuse gained it on a made Cooney three at 14:56 to pull ahead 47-45. Syracuse goes on to win 82-60.

  • BMOC is obviously Trevor Cooney: 10-12 includng 7-8 from three for 27 points. Both his point total and his made threes were career highs. Showing some defensive prowess in the backcourt, Cooney also gathered four steals.
  • The reaction to Cooney's great game has been positive, as one would expect. But does that undo our feelings of disappointment from last year? A couple ways to look at this: one would be to say this year is this year, last year was last year, let's take what we can get. Another is a more cautious approach: let's wait and get some consistent good play from Cooney before we anoint him the next coming of Gerry McNamara.
  • I'm in the second camp, for the record. Even if Trevor can be half as productive as he was on Friday night, game in and game out, then that's the kind of good consistency we need to see from him. I think we'd all take that.
  • I think through the course of his career, I've made some reference to CJ Fair having a quiet, good game almost every game. Friday was no different: 6-11 for 19 points in 35 minutes. CJ battled inside, and was awarded with seven free throw shots (he made six).
  • Baye Moussa Keita didn't light up the scoreboard, but he showed he can still grab rebounds (finished with seven).
  • That didn't lead the team though. That honor goes to Tyler Ennis, who grabbed eight rebounds.
  • Ennis is a freshman. This was his first college game, his first start. He impressed us in Canada. He impressed us in the two exhibition games this month. But he's still a freshman. Head Coach Jim Boeheim wants us to remember that. Ennis's box score will too: 0-6 from the field, finishing with one point, eight rebounds, seven assists. I mean, that's decent, and the long rebounding and assists is what you want to see from your point guard.
  • Jerami Grant was in street clothes and was held out of this game, allegedly for an NCAA violation for playing in a summer league.
  • Who doesn't hate the NCAA?
  • As a team, it was the tale of two halves: Syracuse shot 13-29 in the first, 17-27 in the second. Points-wise, that translates to 32 in the first, 50 in the second.
  • For the game, Syracuse won the rebounding battle 38-26, dished out 19 assists, and caused 17 turnovers.
  • For Cornell, it was all about Nolan Cressler. in 35 minutes, Nolan 23 points on 8-16 from the field, 3-10 from three.
  • Cornell was able to force 14 turnovers.
  • Props to the crowd, who came out to the tune of 24,788 for the season opener. This included a very full student section. Obviously, we'll see a drop-off until ACC play begins, with the exception of the Indiana game and the Villanova game.
So, the season has begun. Syracuse starts with a win. There's no doubt this team is young and lost some great talent in Michael Carter-Williams, James Southerland, and Brandon Triche. But Syracuse has brought in some equally great talent to help close the gap, and the four games in Canada in August certainly gave this team a great opportunity to build some chemistry, learn the college game, and hit the ground running. It'll still be a work in progress, and with a tougher than normal non-conference slate, Syracuse will indeed be battle-tested by the time it opens ACC play on January 4. Next up: a Tuesday night tilt against Fordham.

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