MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Despite a game-high 27 points, Taz Sherman wasn’t too pleased with his performance in the 63-50 win over Kent State on Sunday.
“I’m not really a big fan of how I played today,” Sherman said. “The stat sheet may say otherwise, but on a personal level, I’m not a big fan of how I played today on the offensive end.”
It was the third time this season Sherman finished with 27 points and his sixth time scoring 20 or more. He was also honored as the Big 12 Player of the Week following back-to-back 20-point outings.
As he said, the numbers are in the right spot, but it’s the other areas of his game that aren’t quite up to his personal standards, including three turnovers.
“I just feel like I need to take care of the ball more. You can complain about fouls all you want, but if you carry yourself as a professional, you got to act like that,” Sherman said. “Little bumps and stuff don’t really mean anything, I have to take care of the ball better. I took smarter shots today, but I can take care of the ball better, and of course, make my free throws.”
The latter was the most disappointing to Sherman, who made 7-of-13 attempts from the charity stripe, his worst such display of the season. After going 4-7 at the line against UConn, he has now shot below 72 percent in each of West Virginia’s last two games.
After the game, Sherman was asked how frustrating it is to miss those shots. He replied immediately: “A lot.”
Over the past three seasons, Sherman’s mother has expressed her thoughts on her son’s performance in real-time via Twitter. Those who have followed her over the years, or have frequently listened in to Sherman’s postgame thoughts, know that making free throws is a family expectation. Sherman made sure to state he was the one “more frustrated” on Sunday.
“They all felt good coming out of my hands. I haven’t really missed that many free throws since I had that triple-overtime game in junior college when I shot like 28,” Sherman said. “Missing six out of that many isn’t bad. Missing six out of, I don’t know how many I took, 12-13, that’s terrible. I’m always typically around 85% for my career. This is a bad performance by me.”
Sherman is now shooting 76.6% from the line which is good for sixth in the Big 12 Conference. He’s second in the league in scoring average (21.8 ppg) but first in total points scored (218). As for his showing on the other end of his court, he liked that much better.
“I think of myself as a solid defender. Knowing the rotations, knowing what Huggs wants on defense, knowing our defensive schemes,” Sherman said. “That definitely helps me, especially being a third-year player here, I know what he wants specifically within every defense. I try to do my best on that, try to be a defense leader and talk as much as I can out there.”
Sherman and the Mountaineers have nearly a week off to reset. They return to action on Saturday at 5 p.m. at UAB.