Sherman continues to work at full power

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Taz Sherman said he felt better on Saturday than in any game since returning to the floor, after missing time due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols

MORGANTOWN, WV — Coming back from injury or illness is different for every player.

For West Virginia guard Taz Sherman, it took him a few games to look like himself after returning from a stint on the COVID-19 health and safety protocol list.

After being limited to five points against Kansas, Sherman responded with 18 points against Baylor on Tuesday.

He then scored a team-high 21 points in Saturday’s loss to No. 18 Texas Tech. It was the first time he had scored 20 or more points since Dec. 12 against Kent State.

“I’m starting to catch my breath,” Sherman said after the game. “Just going and being in the gym, and working out, you know, I was getting my breath back.”

Sherman shot more than 50 percent from the floor, made two of his four three-point attempts and was perfect from the free throw line against the Red Raiders. He also grabbed five rebounds, just one of the team-best six grabbed by Gabe Osabuohien.

The lead guard explained that dealing with the virus was tied to a nagging injury. Sherman even compared it to an ankle injury which he is also monitoring.

“We’re all dealing with a little something,” he said. “So, yeah, I’m starting to feel comfortable again.”

While Sherman is starting to feel more comfortable and put in his best performance since returning to the floor on Saturday, his head coach hasn’t seen the same player he saw earlier in the season.

I think [Taz] forced a lot of things, Bob Huggins said. “He carried us, but I think by doing that, I think he forced some things that I’m not used to seeing him do.”

Sherman, meanwhile, said he felt closer to being 100% on Saturday than he had been in any game since returning.

“I feel good,” he said.

But there is still work to be done for him to once again be the player who put in six 20-point performances before being sidelined.

“I’m still gaining weight,” Sherman said. “So being strong and fighting through contact is still a work in progress.”

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