Syracuse Fans: Cut Trevor Cooney Some Slack

Over at TNIIAM, there has been much discussion of Trevor Cooney, who is undoubtedly in a significant slump.  However, this slump has caused Cooney’s three-point average to drop to a still-very-respectable 37.7%.  And this is after a seven game stretch where he has gone 10 for 51, or if you want to use the 10 games since his 33-point explosion against Notre Dame, he is 16 for 72.  After the Notre Dame game, he was 70 for 156 on the season.  That is an insane 44.8%.  Few players are going to keep up that pace.  It’s called law of averages, folks.

The Confidential has already tweeted the following statistical comparison for Cooney’s 2nd year and Andy Rautins’ 3rd year:

Cooney Y2: 12.2 PPG, 1.2 APG, 2.1 RPG, 37.7% from 3, 20 tos, 60 stls;

ARautins Y3: 10.5 PPG, 3.0 APG, 3.3 RPG, 36.6% from 3, 73 tos, 52 stls

Cooney’s season is comparing quite favorably to Andy Rautins, despite the lengthy slump.

And, historically, Syracuse fans should not have thought Cooney could keep up the 44.8% pace.  Who else has?   Let’s look at the career totals for players with more than 150 attempts in a career at Syracuse, courtesy of Orangehoops.org:

  1. Greg Monroe 43.89% (79-180)
  2. Matt Roe 43.32% (159-367)
  3. Marius Janulis 39.92% (190-476)
  4. Eric Devendorf 37.82% (208–550)
  5. Preston Shumpert 37.78% (249-659)
  6. Andy Rautins  37.40% (282-754)
  7. James Southerland 37.05% (153 413)
  8. Scoop Jardine 36.45% (121-332)
  9. Todd Burgan 35.89% (178-496)
  10. Demetris Nichols 35.78% (205-573)
  11. Gerry McNamara 35.37% (400-1131)
  12. Jason Cipolla 34.88% (105-301)

As you can see, Cooney’s 37.7% is far from embarrassing.  A “good” three-point shooter at Syracuse tends to be in that very area.  And, remember, in 2008, the three point shot was moved from 19’9″ to 20’9″ to help drive three-point percentages down.  Not exactly apples and oranges.

Moreover, just looking at the seasons for these players, you see a lot more in the 37.7% range than the 44.8% range (minimum 101 attempts, bold = current three-point distance):

  1. Matt Roe: 47.4% as a Junior
  2. Greg Monroe: 43.9% as a Senior
  3. Preston Shumpert: 42.9% as a Sophomore (Note: started 4 games, played roughly 22 minutes a game)
  4. Demetris Nichols: 41.7% as a Senior
  5. Marius Janulis: 41.6% as a Sophomore (Note: 101 attempts, played less than 20 minutes a game)
  6. Wes Johnson: 41.5% as a Junior (Note: after transferring and sitting out a season)
  7. Andy Rautins: 40.7% as a Senior
  8. Matt Roe: 40.4% as a Sophomore
  9. Marius Janulis: 39.9% as a Junior
  10. James Southerland: 39.8% as a Senior
  11. Marius Janulis: 39.6% as a Senior (Note: as his minutes and attempts increased, his percentage decreased)
  12. Eric Devendorf: 39.0% as a Senior
  13. Gerry McNamara: 38.9% as a Sophomore
  14. Preston Shumpert: 38.7% as a Junior
  15. Scoop Jardine: 37.9% as a Senior
  16. Preston Shumpert: 37.8% as a Senior
  17. Jason Cipolla: 37.8% as a Senior
  18. Eric Devendorf: 37.6% as a Freshman
  19. Luke Jackson: 37.5% as a Senior
  20. Adrian Autry:37.0% as a Senior
  21. Andy Rautins: 36.6% as a Junior (Note: Post-redshirt season, new distance for three-pointers for him)
  22. Todd Burgan: 36.6% as a Senior
  23. Kris Joseph: 36.6% as a Junior
  24. Jason Hart: 36.6% as a Junior
  25. Todd Burgan: 36.3% as a Junior
  26. Demetris Nichols: 36.3% as a Sophomore
  27. Dion Waiters: 36.3% as a Sophomore
  28. Gerry McNamara: 35.7% as a Freshman
  29. Scoop Jardine: 35.7% as a Junior (Note: 4th year)
  30. Andy Rautins: 35.6% as a Sophomore
  31. Eric Devendorf: 35.3% as a Sophomore
  32. Kueth Duany: 35.0% as a Senior
  33. Johnny Flynn: 34.8% as a Freshman
  34. Allen Griffin: 34.8% as a Sophomore
  35. Donte Green: 34.5% as a Freshman
  36. Kris Joseph: 34.5% as a Senior
  37. Dave Johnson: 34.2% as a Senior
  38. Kueth Duany: 34.1% as a Junior
  39. Todd Burgan: 34.0% as a Sophomore (Note: Started all games)
  40. Gerry McNamara: 34.0% as a Junior
  41. Carmelo Anthony: 33.7% as a Freshman
  42. Lawrence Moten: 33.6% as a Sophomore
  43. James Southerland: 33.6% as a Junior (Note: 15 minutes per game off the bench)
  44. DeShaun Williams: 33.5% as a Sophomore

Other notable seasons:

  • Gerry McNamara: 33.4% as a Senior
  • Wes Johnson: 33.3% as a Sophomore (Note: at Iowa State)
  • Jason Hart: 33.0% as a Senior
  • Lawrence Moten: 32.8% as a Senior
  • Lawrence Moten: 31.1% as a Freshman
  • Johnny Flynn: 31.7% as a Sophomore
  • Jason Cipolla: 31.0% as a Junior
  • DeShaun Williams: 30.5% as a Junior
  • Michael Carter-Williams: 30.4% as a Freshman
  • Adrian Autry: 30.3% as a Junior
  • Lawrence Moten: 28.4% as a Junior
  • Trevor Cooney: 26.7% as a Freshman

As you can see, Trevor Cooney’s 2013-2014 season ranks favorably with the historical three-point shooting at Syracuse. At 44.8%, it would have been the 2nd best season in Syracuse history… and highest since the arc moved back to its current distance.  At 37.7%, it is still be a top 20 season–not bad for a Sophomore with a 10-game slump.  Also, keep in mind that if Cooney had made just five more three-pointers in the last 10 games, that would have put him into the top 10.  That gives you some idea just how good the first 20 or so games of the season were.  Simply unsustainable in this era.

In fact, when you consider that only four Sophomores had better seasons, Cooney’s success this year begins to take perspective.  And, of those Sophomores, only Gerry McNamara and Matt Roe started.  Preston Shumpert and Marius Janulis were three-point specialists off the bench, playing only 20 or so minutes a game.  Together, they had 227 attempts.  Cooney already has 228 attempts.  Given that he has started every game, plays significant minutes, has taken significant attempts on an offensively-challenged team with no other deep threat, and is using a deeper three-point arc than the other four, Cooney has nothing to be ashamed about with respect to his 37.7%.  Syracuse fans need to cut him some slack.

7 responses to “Syracuse Fans: Cut Trevor Cooney Some Slack

  1. yes fine, 37% is a decent percentage. IF HE HAD SHOT THAT in the last 6 games, he would have scored 25.5 more points (18.5/51 instead of his pathetic 10/51) we could have won some of those games. The fact remains when we need a 3 point scorer, trevor cooney can only throw bricks. When it doesnt matter in non conference play, he can score.

    • If he had shot 37% the final six games, he would be sitting at 41.8% right now… the fourth best season in Syracuse history and the best since the arc moved back. The Dome is just not that good a shooting venue for our guys to be in the upper 40% range.

      As someone who walked onto the Cuse campus in 1987, give yourself 20 more years of perspective

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