Chip Shots – Fixing It

by Jim Buzzerd

Fixing it

West Virginia University head basketball coach Bob Huggins mantra last season became a promise of ‘fixing it.’ West Virginia went from a team ranked in the top 15 last pre-season to a team that lost 21 games, the most losses in a season in school history. It became clear that a big part of the fix was a purge of the roster.

A look at the current roster on the athletic department website lists eight players and one of those is walk-on Logan Routt. It also includes Sagaba Konate who has entered the NBA draft, so his status is questionable at best. That leaves open a lot of potential roster spots for a team that entered last season with just one senior. That senior was Esa Ahmad who was dismissed mid season along with junior Wesley Harris. James Bolden, Trey Doomes, Andrew Gordon and Lamont West have decided to transfer. It’s not entirely clear how those decisions were made.

Anyway, the spring signing period is upon us and Huggins and his staff are trying to get the roster supplemented. Huggins already had McDonalds All American forward Oscar Tshiebwe and guard Miles McBride signed and in the last week signed Sean McNeil and Tajzmel Sherman from the junior college ranks. Both McNeil and Sherman are 6-4 guards that will add some needed size to the WVU backcourt. The WVU staff is still targeting a few players to sign this week.

Here is some info on the newest Mountaineers. McNeil, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound guard, from Union, Kentucky, is wrapping up his freshman year at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, playing for coach Jeff Price. He will have three years of eligibility remaining at West Virginia. McNeil led the nation in scoring, averaging 29.7 points per contest as well as leading the nation with 4.3 3-point field goals made per game. He earned National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II First Team All-America honors.

“Sean gives us another physical guard who is a tremendous 3-point shooter,” Huggins said. “He brings a physical mentality to the guard position, while also giving us an outstanding rebounder in the backcourt.”

His 55-point performance against Bryant & Stratton set a Sinclair single game scoring record. During the season, he scored 40 or more points six times. McNeil set school records for points in a season (921), 3-pointers in a season (132) and points per game (29.7, single season and career record).

Sherman, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound guard from Missouri City, Texas, is finishing his sophomore season at Collin College in McKinney, Texas, playing for coach Jim Sigona. He will have two years of eligibility remaining at West Virginia. Sherman was recently named a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I Second Team All-American. He scored 25.9 points per game, finishing fourth for most points overall in NJCAA Division I.

“Taz adds tremendous athleticism to the guard position,” Huggins said. “He is very fast with the ball. His quickness and length will be welcomed as we reintroduce Press Virginia.”