As the Bearcats look to adjust to a revamped roster heading into the 2022-23 season, graduate student guard Christian Hinckson is expected to play a big role in the team’s success. Hinckson enters this year coming off his best scoring and rebounding season for the Bearcats, where he was named to the America East (AE) All-Defensive team.
“[Binghamton head coach Levell Sanders] has been trying to get me to be a little more vocal,” Hinckson said. “Since I was here the previous year, he wants me to pass on the culture of the program to the newer players, and let them know how to do things.”
The Bearcats have lost eight players from last season due to several players graduating and transferring. However, the Bearcats were able to bring in four transfers and one freshman in order to add depth to their squad. With the addition of some new faces, there is a positive feeling about what the newcomers can bring to the team this season.
“I think our transfers and our freshman will impact the team in a positive way,” Hinckson said. “They will play a huge role in our success.”
Hinckson led the team in rebounds per game during his senior campaign with 6.6. He also recorded team highs with 28 blocks and 29 steals on the year, numbers that helped him earn his All-Defensive team honors.
“We’re ready for anybody”, Hinckson said. “We’re not backing down from any type of competition, and at the end of the day, this is basketball. So we’re going to compete no matter who it is, whether it is Bryant or Duke. We’re going to go out there and play as hard as we can.”
Last season Hinckson averaged 7.9 points per game for the Bearcats on 44 percent shooting from the field, 41 percent from three-point range and 76 percent from the free throw line which was an improvement across the board from his previous season. During AE play in the 2021-22 season, Hinckson’s scoring improved to 10.1 points per game, and he grabbed 7.6 rebounds per game, which was the second-highest in the AE. In addition , Hinckson averaged 1.1 blocks per game, good enough for fourth in the AE. The graduate student knows that his game will continue to improve throughout the season as he keeps putting in the work.
“By staying consistent and working hard at it every day,” Hinckson said. “Getting in [the gym] with the coaches, and watching film, the results will show [themselves].”
Hinckson attributes the steady improvement in his game to his work with the Bearcats coaching staff. The graduate student explained how they helped him fix the mechanics of his shot over the last two seasons to have a more fluid and consistent form. This has helped him shoot more efficiently from the field. The coaching staff has also let Hinckson know that they trust him to take more shots in games this year.
“The whole coaching staff wants me to shoot,” Hinckson said. “There were a few mechanical issues with my shot earlier on that I fixed and cleaned up. I had to rework most of my shots from the base up. Sometimes I had a little thumb flick in there. I had to watch film and restructure my whole shot. Overall coach [Sanders] and the coaching staff have given me the green light to shoot the basketball.”
With another season on the horizon, Hinckson stated that the team is ready to compete for a championship this season, and that the slew of new faces on the team will play an integral part in the Bearcats reaching their goals this season.
“I feel that we have so much depth this year that we’re going to have to make sacrifices as a team, so I’m ready for that,” Hinckson said. “We have a bunch of new guys, so we’re just looking to get acclimated to playing with each other and hopefully win a championship.”