|Story from the tape|
|Points per game||72.4||70.6|
|Points against it||59.0||61.9|
|Field Goal Percentage||45.2||44.8|
|Field Goal Percentage Against||38.0||44.3|
|3-PT Field Goal Percentage||35.4||30.9|
|3-PT Field Goal Percentage Against||27.3||32.0|
|Free Throw Percentage||83.5||61.2|
|Revenue per game||11.6||11.4|
|Sales per game against||14.6||19.3|
|Thefts per game||7.9||9.2|
|Blocks per game||4.0||5.2|
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Bob Huggins‘ Message to Taz Sherman Last summer was pretty straight to the point – come back for your senior year and you can be the man.
“I honestly didn’t say that much,” Huggins said today. “I was just telling him, ‘You have a chance to have a fucking year and come back and be the guy. The reality is, you don’t get drafted, you’re not on any draft board, so why not?” Are you coming back and having a bloody year and seeing if you can make it next year? ‘”
The guard agreed.
Sherman was a pre-eminent junior college scorer at Collin College in McKinney, Texas, where he finished fourth in the junior college rankings averaging 25.9 points per game. He once scored 47 points in a game against Grayson College, but his two West Virginia seasons in 2019-20 and 2020-21 were basically played in the shadow of Deuce McBride as well Derek Culver.
Deuce ran the backcourt while Culver dominated the color accents.
“When we needed a basket, it was one of those two,” said Huggins.
When McBride and Culver decided to keep their names in the NBA Draft that spring, the team dynamic immediately switched from McBride and Culver to Sherman and Sean McNeil, another skilled backcourt scorer who flirted with the NBA draft.
Both decided to return to WVU for their senior seasons, and it could pay off well in the end for Sherman in particular.
The 6-foot-4 guard currently ranks 10ththat in the country with 21.2 points per game. He has scored 20 or more points in five of his last seven games, including a game high of 23 in West Virginia’s 56-53 win over 15that-Rank Connecticut on Wednesday night.
He played the Huskies every 40 minutes and made 8 of 17 out of the ground, mostly in doubles and triples. His 3-point shot percentage is also finally coming around after staying in the high 20s for the first five games of the season. He’s hit 11 of his last 24 behind the arch to increase his 3 point shot percentage to 32.1% and it seems the more Sherman plays, the better he gets.
This morning, Huggins mentioned a name from his past describing Sherman’s worth to the team so far this season
“He reminds me a lot of Steve Logan,” he said. “He’s taller and more athletic than Lo was, but he just has a great talent for clearing himself up for a jump shot.”
For Mountaineer fans who are unfamiliar with Logan’s great career in Cincinnati, a little background is in order.
Cleveland St. Edward’s product was born during his Cincinnati junior season in 2001 and became one of the top scorers in the country in his senior year 2002. His 770 points were the third highest in college basketball that season, and he finished 13ththat overall average of 22 points per game.
He was the fifth player in UC basketball history to be named first-team AP All-American, was second in school history with 1,985 career points, and is widely recognized as one of the top ten players in Bearcats history.
Comparisons with Steve Logan are therefore not to be taken lightly.
And while Logan was listed at 6 feet in Cincinnati, he was probably closer to 5 feet 10 and did most of his work outside of the basket.
Sherman is a good 10 or 5 inches taller than Logan and can easily score anywhere on the floor. If you look at Sherman’s shooting chart, many of his field goals are close to the basket, either by putting up smaller guards or facing much larger players.
“He’s got great feet and he’s worked really hard on it,” said Huggins. “What you learn from the older guys is that you don’t have to dribble between your legs 65 times and if you really want to be a good scorer, you have to be versatile.”
Huggins credits Sherman with the time Sherman spent here over the summer training with some of the professional players who have returned to campus from overseas, such as Kevin Jones, Alex Ruoff, Teyvon Myers and Tarik Phillip.
Sherman was smart enough to include some of the things they learned while playing the game in different parts of the world.
“I think that really helped him,” said Huggins. “Taz is a great student.”
Something else Taz learned is to take an old school approach to preparing for games. Instead of rising above the 3-point arc and only cracking 3s, as you often see today, Sherman’s preparation begins near the goal before gradually working his way past the 3-point arc.
“It’s been around for a long time,” Huggins admitted.
On Sunday, Sherman will have another big test against 5-3 Kent State. The Golden Flashes emerged with a 69-52 win over Detroit Mercy on Thursday night as they kept Antoine Davis, the nation’s fourth-top scorer, three points below his season average.
Sherman will no doubt face more contact and more doubles teams against the Golden Flashes – something he’ll tackle for the remainder of the season.
He’s already done enough to warrant that kind of attention.
“He has to be one of the better players in our league, if not in the top two or three,” said Huggins.
The game on Sunday starts at 4 p.m. and will be broadcast nationwide on ESPN2 (Chuckie Kempf and King McClure). Tickets remain on sale and can be purchased by logging into WVUGAME.com.
Kent State’s last appearance at the Coliseum on November 15, 2011 was current coach Rob Senderoff’s first career win for the Golden Flashes. He is now 201-132 in his 11ththat Kent State’s season and his first five consist mostly of transfers, including top scorer Sincere Carry, who began his college career at Duquesne.
Second best scorer, Malique Jacobs, is a transfer from Indian Hills Community College, while fourth best scorer, Justyn Hamilton, is transferred from Temple.
This will only be the third game between the two schools. The only other meeting was at the NIT in 2004, when the WVU in Kent, Ohio took a 64-54 win.
Sunday’s game completes West Virginia’s five-game home stand.
The WVU closes its December schedule with games in Alabama-Birmingham on December 18 and at the Coliseum against Youngstown State on December 22.