Virginia Tech head coach Williams talks Christmas-Cooney scoring combo

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 2, 2015 at 6:12 pm Contact Jacob: [email protected] | @Jacob_Klinger_ It doesn’t get much better than Rakeem Christmas and Trevor Cooney as far as Virginia Tech head coach Buzz Williams is concerned.“It’s as good as any pairing as there is,” Williams said.On Monday’s Atlantic Coast Conference coaches’ teleconference, the former Marquette head coach spoke highly of Christmas and Cooney’s individual improvements as well as their progress as a duo. They have combined to score nearly 48 percent of SU’s points this season. Williams complimented a growing variety in Cooney’s game and said he wasn’t sure how or if Virginia Tech (9-12, 1-7 ACC) could stop Christmas when the Orange (14-7, 5-3) hosts his Hokies at 9 p.m. on Tuesday in the Carrier Dome.“But his game, his body, his development, has been as good as any that I remember for a big man in a long time,” Williams said of Christmas. “So you can’t give him the same thing, particularly with the guy that we’re going to throw at him because it’s not enough. And I don’t know that even changing things in what we do bothers him that much to be honest with you.”SU head coach Jim Boeheim said in his portion of the teleconference that he thought VT would double down on Christmas. Those double teams open up space elsewhere on the floor, which Cooney tries to exploit.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut Williams also pointed to Cooney getting Christmas open.“I think his scouting report is much deeper than he’s just a shooter,” Williams said. “He makes really good plays off the bounce. He makes plays for Christmas that allow him to play better.”Cooney has scored 168 of his 309 points from beyond the arc this season and 57 from the free-throw line. His other 84 points have come from 2s.And his ability to hit more shots off the dribble has opened up more passing lanes to the Orange’s star big man. Cooney has played 92.2 percent of SU’s minutes this season and played every minute since Syracuse’s loss to Clemson on Jan. 17. Christmas has played in 81.8 percent of minutes and hasn’t sat since fouling out in SU’s win over Boston College on Jan. 20.Said Williams: “It’s how those guys play with one another, I think is a tribute to Coach and is also a tribute to the development of both of those guys.” Commentslast_img read more