MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Already armed with the cool nickname, junior college combo guard Tajzmel “Taz” Sherman is now armed with a scholarship offer from West Virginia.
The Mountaineers on Tuesday offered the high-scoring sophomore from Collin College in McKinley, Texas, where he’s averaging 27.4 points aided by 88-percent free-throw shooting. WVU hopes to add Sherman to a 2019 recruiting class that can turn things around for a program currently in last place in the Big 12.
Just how many scholarships West Virginia has available in this class — and how many signees WVU is actively pursuing— remains in question.
The Mountaineers have two players signed: Five-star prospect Oscar Tshiebwe from Kennedy Catholic in Hermitage, Pa., and point guard Miles McBride from Moeller in Cincinnati. And WVU has at least two scholarships to give, following Monday’s dismissals of senior Esa Ahmad and junior Wesley Harris for violations of athletics department policies.
The other 11 scholarship players currently on the roster are underclassmen, signaling the program expects additional attrition after a rough season.
Here is a look at what could be West Virginia’s future:
Players with a WVU offer
Tajzmel Sherman: A 6-foot-4 combo guard originally from Missouri City, Texas, now a sophomore at Collin College. The No. 3 scorer nationally in juco Division I, he’s shooting 39.2 percent from 3-point range and averaging five rebounds and 4.9 assists per game.
Sherman appears to be WVU’s highest late-cycle priority and would have two seasons of eligibility.
Also in the mix are Oklahoma State, Utah, Cincinnati and Buffalo.
Sean McNeil: A 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Union, Ky., he is a freshman at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio.
McNeil visited the West Virginia campus last weekend. He leads all D-II junior college players in scoring at 31 points per game, and is a 41.3 percent shooter from 3-point range. He also shoots 88.8 percent from the foul line.
He would have three years of eligibility remaining.
Also in the mix are Dayton, Western Kentucky and James Madison.
Clarence Nadolny: The 6-3 combo guard, who currently plays at Scotland Prep in Chambersburg, Pa., hails from Paris, France and first came to the United States in 2017.
Nadolny has all four years of college eligibility remaining.
Also in the mix are Iowa State, Dayton, Georgetown and Rutgers.
Prospects on WVU’s radar
Tristan Newton: A 6-5 shooting guard from Burges High School in El Paso, he leads the state of Texas in scoring at 39 points per game and recently surpassed 3,000 career points.
Also in the mix are Evansville, Jackson State and Texas-Rio Grande Valley.
Sean Miller-Moore: A 6-5 guard from Moberly Area Community College in Missouri, he was once committed to Buffalo before re-opening his recruitment.
He scores 18 points per game as a sophomore after averaging 10.1 points as a freshman. Miller-Moore is shooting 58.6 percent from the field and 76 percent from the foul line. He has two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Also in the mix are UMass, Cleveland State and Robert Morris.
Trey Wade: A 6-7 wing who spent a two-year stint at UTEP, before transferring to South Plains College, where he’s a redshirt sophomore averaging 13.5 points and seven rebounds. As a freshman at UTEP, he averaged 7.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.
He has two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Also in the mix are Long Beach State, UAB, Towson, Eastern Michigan and Troy.
Where does WVU find openings?
That answer will only come in the weeks ahead.
Sagaba Konate’s future hasn’t been solidified. West Virginia coach Bob Huggins says he would welcome back the injured 6-8 center, who could apply for a medical redshirt that would leave him two more seasons of eligibility. But Konate and his family have made nothing official.
Other openings would have to come through players transferring or leaving early to pursue a professional career.
The Mountaineers had three players transfer after last season — Teddy Allen, D’Angelo Hunter and Maciej Bender — and have a mass of underclassmen guards this season.
Jordan McCabe, Trey Doomes, Brandon Knapper and Emmitt Matthews Jr. are all freshmen who have appeared in the backcourt this season.