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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Key matchup: Kent State poses Sincere challenge for Gonzaga’s guards

Dec. 4, 2022 Updated Sun., Dec. 4, 2022 at 7:07 p.m.

Sincere Carry didn’t sweep every Mid-American Conference award last season, but he made a good run at it. He was the MAC player of the year, All-MAC first team, All-MAC defensive team and was selected conference player of the week three times.

Carry is back at it in his senior season. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound guard averages a team-leading 18.5 points and 5.1 assists. He also grabs 3.6 rebounds and has 22 steals, eighth nationally.

Carry’s shooting numbers – 39.4% from the field, 32.7% on 3-pointers – are well below his percentages last season and probably a bit misleading. Against Houston, one of the best defensive teams in the country, Carry was just 2 of 22, including 1 of 11 from distance. Throw that game out and Carry checks in at 45.7% overall, 39.5% on 3s.

He leads the Golden Flashes in free throws made (32) and attempts (41), ranks second in made 3s (16) and his 127 field-goal attempts are the most on the team by 43.

Carry, whose first name is from a character played by rapper Nas in the 1998 movie “Belly”, took a circuitous route back to Kent State. He committed to Division II West Liberty University in West Virginia before playing his first three seasons at Duquesne. He made the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie team in 2019 and was third-team Atlantic 10 in 2021.

Carry averaged 36.6 minutes, 17.9 points, 4.8 assists and 3.8 rebounds in his first season at Kent State last year. He averages 35.4 minutes this season, easily the most on the team.

Carry teams with redshirt senior Malique Jacobs (12.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 28 steals) to form yet another formidable backcourt on Gonzaga’s non-conference schedule.

The Zags will likely counter with Nolan Hickman and Rasir Bolton matching up on Carry and the 6-3, 194-pound Jacobs. The Zags are coming off a strong defensive effort against Baylor and the talented Bears’ backcourt.

Hunter Sallis and Malachi Smith, who was GU’s top perimeter defender against Baylor, according to head coach Mark Few, will also see time against Kent State’s starting guards.

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