Among Its Many Needs, WVU Needs A Healthy Taz Sherman

West Virginia guard Taz Sherman plays keepaway with Oklahoma State's Isaac Likekele

Despite the appearance of a strong 13-4 overall record, the Mountaineer men’s basketball team badly needs to improve in many areas if it is going to contend for a spot in the NCAA Tournament field this season.

What’s needed?

• Better rebounding (WVU is a distant last in the Big 12 in rebounding margin at -1.35)

• Better passing (WVU is last in the Big 12 in assist/turnover ratio at 0.87, and it is the only team in the league without an individual who averages better than 3.0 assists per game, as Taz Sherman is the Mountaineer leader with 2.69 per game)

• Better shooting (WVU’s 42.7 field goal percentage is last in the Big 12)

• Better defense (WVU’s defensive field goal percentage of 42.6 is last in the Big 12)

Certainly, West Virginia coach Bob Huggins could add considerably more to that list of needs, but those are some of the most glaring, accept one … WVU desperately needs a healthy Taz Sherman.

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The senior guard definitely is the key cog in the Mountaineer offense, and he’s not been completely healthy since he contracted Covid in late December. Because of the virus, he did not make the trip to Texas for a Jan. 1 clash, where WVU fell 74-59. He was back on the court for West Virginia’s next game, a 71-68 victory over Kansas State on Jan. 8, and has been out there ever since, but his coach says Sherman is not fully healthy.

“He’s still not 100% yet,” acknowledged WVU’s head coach the day prior to the Mountaineers’ 77-68 loss to No. 5 Baylor. “I’m not a doctor, so I can’t put a percentage on it, but I know he’s not what he was.”

Against BU, Sherman did have his best outing since being struck with Covid, scoring 18 points against the defending national champions.

Still, Huggins didn’t think the guard was back to full form.

“He still is not what he was,” explained Huggins after the loss to Baylor. “You can really see it when … you know how good he was early when he had the ball and he would bounce it hard at guy and kind of get the guy back on his heels and then all of the sudden, bam, he’s in the air and he’s making shots? He’s not doing that now.

“When you’re running up and down the way you run up and down in basketball, the first thing that goes is your legs; the first thing that weakens is your legs,” the coach continued. “Now when you’re coming off what I guess is a major sickness, it’s going to take some time.”

West Virginia guard Taz Sherman (12) looks for teammates as he drives the baseline

In West Virginia’s first 12 games of the season prior to Jan. 1, Sherman was averaging 20.9 points per game, which was the second-best mark in the league at that juncture. He’s averaged just 12.5 points per game since, including a season-low five-point outing in WVU’s 85-59 loss at Kansas on Jan. 15.

How badly do the Mountaineers need Sherman? In their four losses this season, they’ve gotten a total of only 44 points from the fifth-year senior, while he’s averaged 19.9 points per game in WVU’s 13 victories.

His scoring has diminished since his return to the lineup because his shooting is down significantly as of late. He made 44.2% of his field-goal attempts and 35.4% of his 3-point tries before being knocked down by Covid, while he’s made 32.7% from the field and 28.6% from three since testing positive.

“He’s not the Taz Sherman we had at the beginning of the year,” noted Huggins. “He’ll get there, because he’ll work at it, and he wants to get there.”

Sherman showed signs against Baylor that he’s returning to his pre-Covid form. The Mountaineers badly need him at 100%, because he’s very much their driving force.

 

 

Home Page forums Among Its Many Needs, WVU Needs A Healthy Taz Sherman

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  • #170816

    Despite the appearance of a strong 13-4 overall record, the Mountaineer men’s basketball team badly needs to improve in many areas if it is going to c
    [See the full post at: Among Its Many Needs, WVU Needs A Healthy Taz Sherman]

    #170839

    Good analysis …. it sure looked like something was wrong w Taz …maybe he need some rest rather than working hard

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Home Page forums Among Its Many Needs, WVU Needs A Healthy Taz Sherman

Home Page forums Among Its Many Needs, WVU Needs A Healthy Taz Sherman