You don’t become one of the best shooters in any given high school class without hard work. So, for Trevor Cooney to miss my original call due to being outside at 9:30pm while getting up shots, should come as no surprise. The combo guard from Delaware recently enjoyed a great junior year and is off to a great start on the AAU circuit. “The past year went very well. We won the (state) title. Won player of the year, I (think) we went 24-1.” As for Trevor’s start to the AAU year with Team Final, he is playing next to other high major prospects and some of the most elite players in the 2011 class with; Tyrone Johnson, Mike Gilchrist and Rakeem Christmas. “It’s awesome playing with those guys; you can play off them, and really get you going. Just great to play with guys that good.” Trevor brings a ton to the table for Team Final as well, with his marksman like shooting and ability to handle the ball and pass. They have enjoyed success this year, “We’ve been playing pretty well. It’s the first time we’ve had a new team, before in other years we had the same group of guys. We were 3-2 at Boo. Last tournament was at Pittsburgh, we only had 6 guys and one guy got hurt. And they were all Saturday games; by the time the 10:30 game came around we were pretty tired.” Team Final will be headed to Virginia this weekend and will continue on into the summer, most notably at the Peach Jam.
Trevor made his big decision this past February on where he will attend school, and chose Syracuse. One major reason was highlighted, “My relationship with the coaches. I had the best relationship with them out of any of the schools. I just got more and more comfortable with them.” His commitment also coincided with a great season from Syracuse but that was not a major factor, “It had a little to do with it, but I didn’t get caught up in the hype. If they had a losing record, I would have committed anyway. I know what those coaches do and what they do for a team.” The fan base and passion that is exhibited for the local team is also a selling point for any recruit looking to go to upstate New York to hoop. “First time I went up this year for the Marquette game, and then the sell out for Villanova. It just shows you the success they’ve had to build a program like that and build the fan base they have. And it gets more impressive when you look at NBA games, and they only have 20,000 and you’re like wow, Syracuse gets more than that. It’s really awesome all those people want to see Cuse come out to play.” Trevor doesn’t have relatives in Syracuse or past family members who attended the university, but has now come across people extending their well wishes, “I get a lot of people that come up to me and say they went to Syracuse. It’s made me realize how big their fan base is.” Trevor is also getting to know the current players on the Syracuse team and those that will be his teammates in the future. The Syracuse team of this past year appeared to be a tighter knit group that resulted in great chemistry and that will look to carry on into the future. “I talked to Andy a couple times this year; I talk to Michael Carter -Williams a lot. We’ll probably be in the same camps this year, so I’ll get to know him. And Dion Waiters, we were on the same AAU team.”
For any shooter, a dome is always a topic of discussion and possible concern with the sight lines, Trevor plans on getting comfortable in the dome. “I got to play pick up there, a lot of people say it’s different, I didn’t think about it much. Just has two baskets like any court. But you definitely can tell with the back ground and its wide open. I’ll get shots up and get used to it.” Another topic with Syracuse is the long employed 2-3 zone by Jim Boeheim. Some Syracuse players of past years have expressed interest in playing man to man and the zone can be misconstrued as out dated or a ‘lazy’ defense but Cooney looks forward to learning the workings and the depths of the defense. “It really throws out different things to the offense, you don’t just sit there. (You’re) Not just robots, it’s just as active as anyone’s man to man. I can’t wait to learn how to play in it.”
Being a combo guard with a great shot and a high basketball IQ, Cooney has now naturally been drawing comparisons to Andy Rautins. Trevor noted the coaches have envisioned him in that type of role as a combo guard that can handle the ball and facilitate as well as shoot. “Definitely. I try to keep adding to my game, to try and be a combo guard, which would just better my game, and be more versatile for Syracuse. Right now I’m working on my speed and quickness and getting stronger. And I work on ball handling, work on shooting.”
As for the future off the court, Trevor is looking to study communications at Syracuse, in their world renowned communications program. There is one current situation out of his control that surrounds the Syracuse basketball program at that is the topic of possible Big 10 expansion and the division of the Big East. “I’ve been talking to my brother and dad about it; it would be a big difference. Growing up on the East coast, you know the teams and you get to know the rivalries inside the conference. I don’t know anything really about the Big 10. It would be a big difference; I really hope they stay in the Big East.” Wherever Syracuse may be in 2011 and into the future, they have a great player and young man in Trevor Cooney to represent their basketball team and university.