Sports

‘One last ride:’ Canada’s Carr eyes NCAA title with Longhorns in final season

Marcus Kerr’s goals for this season will never change. That’s to cut the net on April 3 after winning the NCAA men’s basketball final.

The Texas Longhorns star guard has been the No. 7 Longhorns’ top scorer and facilitator (15.9 points and 4.1 assists per game) in his fifth and final season in college.

A disappointing loss to Purdue in the second round of last year’s tournament hasn’t gone well for the Toronto native.

“Last season starts off like it ended. There’s unfinished business here,” Kerr told The Canadian Press. we didn’t do that.

“So that was my main goal coming back this year, and that was my focus all year.”

Entering the tournament as the No. 2 seed in the Midwest region, Texas, which faces Colgate on Thursday, is the third school Kerr has played for. He began playing in Pittsburgh before moving to Minnesota and the Golden Gophers where he played for two years.

After declining production in the 2021-22 season in Texas (averaging 11.4 points per game after posting 19.4 the previous year) and early tournament exits, Kerr chose not to turn pro. bottom.

Whatever happens, Carr does not question his choice to return.

“I don’t dwell on the past,” he said. “I’m really happy to be back and have one last ride with my brothers.”

Preparations for the 2022-23 season began last summer with a body restructuring. Carr has lost 15 pounds but has been working tirelessly to become a more efficient and improved player on both ends.

“I work out every day with a trainer, do a lot of film breakdowns, and try to be in the best shape possible,” he said. I found another gear

Kerr also worked on improving his chemistry with his teammates.

Interim coach Rodney Terry said, “I think he’s worked hard over the summer and into the fall to connect with his teammates.” We’ve really developed that connection in terms of spending time with each other, and I think that carries over to[Marcus’]play.

“His leadership is great. He and[forward]Brock Cunningham are probably the main leaders on the team this year and, as Marcus says, the Texas Longhorns score the ball and play great. And for the better part of this year. Pace.”

It wasn’t all about spending time with teammates and passing on knowledge to younger players. Kerr also wanted coaches to put more weight on his shoulders.

“Since the beginning of the season, they pushed me and told them they could expect a lot from me. I am just grateful to have it.”

While scoring 20 or more points in eight games, including 41 against Texas A&M Commerce on Dec. 27, Kerr has “trusted his teammates” and all the work has paid off. increase.

Heading into the Big 12 tournament, Terry said Kerr should join the conference’s Player of the Year conversation.

“If Marcus doesn’t get enough credit, I think I’ll be the first to say it. I think he should be named this league’s Player of the Year,” Terry said. “He’s not a self-proclaimed guy in that regard, but I think he’s done enough to be the player of the year.

“He’s had a heavy load on his shoulders. He’s played a lot of time this year. I think he’s had a year like that. I know you’re not talking as

But Kerr has only one goal.

“I’m really honored that my coach thought of me that way,” he said. “But in my opinion, I’m not very focused on individual accolades.

“I understand that these things happen when you’re in a successful team and you’re playing well, but my main goal is just to win a championship with my teammates. “


This report by the Canadian Press was first published on March 13, 2023.

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