Gbinije, Cooney, Patterson see time at point guard to back up Ennis

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 7, 2013 at 11:47 pm Contact David: [email protected] | @DBWilson2 Trevor Cooney didn’t get much time at point guard during Syracuse’s 93-65 win against Binghamton, but with Tyler Ennis in foul trouble the Orange needed to try some different players in that spot.Michael Gbinije got his usual run, but Cooney and freshman Ron Patterson each got a handful of possessions at point guard during the first half of SU’s win in the Carrier Dome.“In case Tyler ever dies or is incapacitated,” Boeheim said, “we’ll use one of those guys.”Ennis spent the majority of the first half on the bench with a pair of fouls, which opened up opportunities for some of the other guards in No. 4 Syracuse’s rotation. Gbinije matched forward Jerami Grant for a game-high five assists and turned the ball over just once. Cooney and Patterson each handed out a pair of assists and shared a backcourt for much of the first half.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBecause the Orange was pressing, Cooney’s reps in a half-court offense were limited, but he was still glad to get a chance in a game situation.“I do it in practice a lot, but it was good to get some game reps today,” Cooney said. “It’s something that we work on just in case Tyler gets in foul trouble, or is tired or anything, but I’ve got to be ready to bring the ball up.”With his tenacious defense and knockdown shooting ability, Cooney has a pair of valuable tools to offer SU. An improved handle would give Ennis a press-break partner and give Cooney a more diverse array of scoring methods.“Teams are going to pressure us,” Ennis said. “It’s going to be critical for him to handle the ball at some point.”During the second half, Cooney put the ball on the floor in the right corner and darted to the basket. He dumped a pass off to Grant, who was cutting down the lane, and the forward flushed home an easy dunk.Ennis had just three assists on Saturday, but Syracuse still totaled 24. Even with the primary distributor off the floor, the Orange found others capable of facilitating.Patterson’s role as a point guard will likely only surface in emergency situations. Cooney’s opportunities may be limited, too, but he will find himself in spots where he needs to handle the ball.Saturday, though, gave SU a primer and template for how to play without the only true point guard on the roster.“I think they’re getting a little bit more comfortable with it as the season goes on,” Ennis said. “You never know when something like that’s going to happen. “They’re going to have a chance to dribble the ball.” Commentslast_img

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