MORGANTOWN — As far as problems go, Bob Huggins has a good one where it concerns guards Taz Sherman and Sean McNeil.
As in poor Huggins has two experienced shooters to give the ball to at any point in a game.
“We can make shots,” Huggins said. “We’ve got guys who can make shots. I think we can stretch defenses if they continue to shoot it the way they’ve been shooting it, Sean and Taz in particular.”
Kind of hard for opposing coaches to feel sorry for the Mountaineers in that instance.
The problem: Huggins is going back and forth on whether or not to start both guards or bring one off the bench.
“The hard thing is having both of them on the floor and getting in foul trouble,” Huggins said. “That’s my biggest fear. You’d kind of like having one of them be able to come off the bench and make some shots for you, but they both obviously deserve to start.”
A season ago, McNeil was the starter and Sherman mostly came off the bench in a role in which he thrived.
They combined for 25 points per game and 116 3-pointers, while shooting 37.5% from behind the arc.
Without the presence of Derek Culver in the middle this season, the Mountaineers are transitioning to more of a spread-’em-out type of offense to create open shots on the outside and driving lanes in the middle.
This is the type of offense in which Sherman and McNeil playing together could make their biggest impact.
“I feel like we’re better when we’re on the court at the same time,” Sherman said. “You’ve got to look at us as both being weapons. How I imagine it is if both Sean and I are on the wing or in the corners, you can’t help off either one of us. That’s opening up driving lanes and the bigs can operate one-on-one.”
McNeil sees the same things as Sherman.
“We never got to experience that much until now,” he said. “Now we get to play together and it’s nice. We complement each other really well. He’s able to attack. He’s a little quicker and handles the ball a little better, but I think I can do the same things. It’s nice to have that two-headed monster on the floor at one time.”
More than half of McNeil’s baskets last season were 3-pointers, while Sherman scored a little more from inside the arc.
As far as driving to the basket, the Mountaineers left that responsibility mostly in the hands of Deuce McBride last season, who has now moved on with the New York Knicks.
In terms of looking different offensively, McNeil said he’s worked on expanding his game to being more than just a long-distance shooter.
“A lot last year was Deuce driving and pitching it to me and I’d shoot it in,” McNeil said. “In the (pro) workouts I had, we did a lot of stuff off ball screens and they didn’t really know I could do that. I never really had to do it before, because we relied on Deuce to do most of that.”