MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Before arriving at West Virginia, Taz Sherman scored 30 points in a game that Bob Huggins watched from the sidelines.
It wasn’t a conventional 30 points from a junior college guard hoping to impress a Division I coach, but it was still noteworthy.
“I was like 0-for-10 from three. But I still ended up scoring like 30,” Sherman said. “It was just off of post-ups and free throws.”
Huggins said Sherman was dealing with an ankle injury that day. The guard says he was also coming off the flu.
No matter what was ailing him, Sherman put on a performance in the post and at the foul line. It got the attention of his future head coach, and began to set the table for what he’d do at the Power 5 level.
“That’s when I was like 175, 170 [pounds],” he said. “But [Huggins] already knew what he was recruiting. So, now he’s just starting to draw up a little more plays.”
Sherman is coming off a Division I career-high 28 points against Eastern Kentucky. Just seven days prior, he dropped 27 against Elon.
Sherman is averaging 20.5 points per game this year to lead the way for West Virginia. He’s getting the job done in a number of ways offensively.
Take last Friday’s game against EKU as an example: Sherman knocked down four 3-pointers, scored four points in the paint, and made a couple of jumpers. One of those jump shots was on a drive to the basket, where he finished through contact, and was rewarded with an and-one free throw attempt. He also went 8-for-11 from the free throw line.
“In these games, it don’t even feel like [I’m] scoring all these points. I never look at the jumbotron or whatever to see how many points I’ve scored,” Sherman said. “I just keep it going.”
But, the veteran guard admits he wants to improve his shot selection this season.
“I got to make the easy ones. I tend to make the hard ones. I got to make the easy ones,” Sherman said. “Got to make them while you’re open. That’s what’s going to propel you into tournament play.”
Sherman’s ability to score in the post dates back to his junior college days. He says it was his sophomore year that he began to learn and develop his game down low.
“I feel like my strength is up more now. Strength helps a little bit in the post, so you can get to your spots easier,” Sherman said. “There’s no need to just do all these unnecessary dribbles when you can just make it easier on yourself.”
Sherman is also the team’s top passer, leading the squad with an average of 3.5 assists per game. Getting others involved was a priority for him coming into this season.
“I was looking at just trying to get my teammates involved early in the game, so they can get going and I can find my stuff later on,” Sherman said. “If I get doubled, find teammates. If they make open shots, that’s good for us. I’m trying to do everything I can to get my teammates involved.”
Sherman’s success at this level doesn’t surprise his head coach. Huggins saw how he scored 30 points on a bad ankle — or coming off the flu — a few years ago.
“He’s always been able to score the ball,” Huggins said.
And in a way, Sherman’s scoring prowess reminds Huggins of a Mountaineer immortal.
“He reminds me of [Da’Sean Butler] in the way he can get his feet down. He can come off a screen and get his feet down,” said Huggins. “A lot of people have a hard time getting their feet down. Da’Sean was fantastic at it.”
Huggins recalled one play in particular from last year against Oklahoma State, using the word “masterful” to describe what Sherman did.
The same word could be used to describe how he’s played at times this year. Sherman has led WVU in scoring in four of the six games played so far, and he has come up big in late-game situations.
Sherman will lead the Mountaineers against Bellarmine Tuesday at the Coliseum. The game tips off at 7 p.m. and will stream live on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.
Click here for a matchup preview.