After tipping his toe in the professional waters this summer, Sincere Carry is back with the Kent State men’s basketball program and more motivated than ever to lead the team to a Mid-American Conference title.
Carry was named Mid-American Conference Player of the Year when he led the Golden Flashes to 23 wins as a junior last season, then qualified for the 2022 NBA Draft but didn’t hire an agent. He went through the pre-draft training process, then withdrew his name from draft review on 1 June and announced he would be returning to the State of Kent for his senior year.
Reigning MAC Player of the Year Carry returns to Kent State for the senior season
“First, I went to Houston for a month and trained with (renowned NBA coach) Aaron Miller,” Carry said after a team practice session last week. The Flashes will embark on a 10-day trip to Australia on Wednesday that will include three exhibition games. “[Miller]coached me and I’ve been with a lot of pros so it’s been great to see how hard they work every day and to be in that mix. Then I got two workouts, with the Detroit Pistons and the (Cleveland) Cavaliers, and I felt like I was getting better.”
Carry believes that going through the preliminary design process will benefit him now and in the future.
“Just to get my foot in the door, so next year when I go through those workouts again I’ll already be prepared,” he said. “I think it boosted my confidence a lot. Now, after last year, I just can’t be satisfied. Just keep building every day.”
A new kid in the block of flats
After a highly successful three years as Duquesne’s starting point guard, Carry took the MAC by storm last season. The 6-foot-1 former Solon High School star averaged 17.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.4 steals per contest during his freshman year at Kent State. Carry had 609 points, the fifth-highest single-season total in KSU history, while his assist total of 162 is the program’s fourth-highest all-time.
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Carry scored 30 or more points on three occasions, including a 42-point breakout against Ball State — Kent State’s highest total since 1956. He set a program record with 10 3-pointers in the same competition, a 93-82 Flashes- victory . Carry also set a new program mark last season with 1,245 minutes and an average of 36.6 minutes per game.
Carry is aware he will be a wanted man after his outstanding 2021-22 campaign.
“I think this is going to be one of the toughest years of my college career,” Carry said. “I’m (2021-22 MAC) Player of the Year, a lot of people will come up to me. I think last year I looked for others because I wasn’t even mentioned after I took a year off.”
Expanding his game, reach
Carry knows he’ll have to adjust his game to some degree to keep the defense guessing this winter.
“I have a lot of guns and my boys can play all of them, so I think I’ll be more of a point guard this year,” he said. “(Kent State head coach Rob Senderoff) stays with me every day, makes sure I’m not complacent, makes sure I’m not too big or whatever you want to call it. But I am humble enough for that.”
What pissed Senderoff Carry off the most during the offseason?
“The thing he can improve on the most outside of the basketball stuff is his day-to-day consistency as a leader,” Senderoff said. “He knows that and is really working on it. I think he’s done a good job so far. He’s a great player. If our team succeeds, really good things will happen for him. He knows that too. He’s trying to help the young people understand what we need to do and trying to lead the team.”
There is no lack of motivation
Carry nearly led the Flashes to a MAC title last season but fell just short. Finishing a game behind Toledo during the regular season and then facing rival Akron in the MAC Tournament’s championship game provides Carry, his teammates and coaches with plenty of motivational ammunition for the 2022-23 season.
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“We were disappointed last year. We thought we should win everything and go to March Madness and win some games there,” Carry said. “I know myself and (colleague Malique Jacobs), we talk about it every day . We are humble. We absolutely want it. If we talk about it every day, pushing our boys, we’re just setting an example. It’s spreading. It’s contagious.”
Carry will put his pro ambitions on hold while he makes one final run at March Madness.
“I’m not worried about next year,” Carry said, “I’m worried about winning a MAC championship. We have to finish it this year.”