Sherman, WVU to take on nation’s top free throw shooting team Sunday

Gold and Blue Nation

Kent State leads NCAA DI men’s hoops in free throw percentage

Taz Sherman enters Sunday’s game against visiting Kent State (5-3) as one of the top scorers in the country.

Sherman’s 21.2 points per game scoring average currently ranks second in the Big 12 Conference, and 10th in the nation among all Division I men’s basketball players.

The senior guard is also the Mountaineers’ top free throw shooter at 82.4 percent. While he’s pacing WVU in that statistic, that would make him the ninth-best shooter from the foul line this season for the Golden Flashes.

When West Virginia (8-1) hosts Kent State, the No. 1 free throw shooting team in the country will play opposite of the Mountaineers.

Kent State enters Sunday’s contest having made 83.47 percent of their free throw attempts. Eight different players have made at least 85 percent of their foul shots, and four Golden Flashes players are perfect from the charity stripe this year.

“That’s going to be hard for us to do,” WVU head coach Bob Huggins said Friday.

It should be noted that none of the four Kent State players who are shooting 100 percent from the line have attempted more that five free throws this season.

This matchup comes on the heals of West Virginia shooting 12-of-27 from the free throw line in its win over UConn Wednesday.

“We’re going to put in an enormous amount of time shooting free throws,” Huggins added. “We’re going to keep working at it. I think just spend a little bit more time with technique.”

A trio of Golden Flashes players are averaging double figures in scoring this season.

Sincere Carry paces Kent State at 14.8 points per game, followed by Malique Jacobs (13.7) and Giovanni Santiago (10.4).

“Sincere has really made a huge difference in their team. He’s a guy that can score from anywhere,” Huggins said. “[He’s] Somebody that you’ve got to pay attention to. He’s going to make shots.”

Santiago is one of the top shooters in the country from beyond the arc. He has made 46.5 percent of his attempted 3-pointers this year.

Jacobs, meanwhile, leads Kent State with an average of 7.7 rebounds per game despite being just a 6-foot-3-inch guard. Justyn Hamilton, who stands at 6 foot 11 inches tall, is second on the team in rebounds, and has14 blocks so far this season.

Kent State has played just one team from one of the “power six conferences,” losing that contest at Xavier in the season opener. The Musketeers forced Carry and the Golden Flashes into 13 turnovers and one of their worst shooting performances of the year.

Tip off between West Virginia and Kent State is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the WVU Coliseum on Sunday. This will be the final game of the Mountaineers’ current home stand before hitting the road next weekend to take on UAB.

Sunday’s game will be televised on ESPN 2.

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