Nevada Sports Net’s Chris Murray will break down each of Nevada’s 12 eligible scholarship players prior to the Wolf Pack basketball team’s season opener Nov. 25 against Western Kentucky at the Golden Window Classic in Lincoln, Neb. We will count the players down in alphabetical order using their last names. Today’s player: Grant Sherfield.
Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas
2019-20 stats: 25.1 mpg, 8.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.9 apg, 0.8 spg, 35.3 FG%, 30.4 3PT%, 74.4 FT% (at Wichita State)
Likely role: Sherfield transferred from Wichita State to Nevada in March and was granted immediate eligibility in September (because since-departed coach Gregg Marshall was running an ugly program). The Shockers' loss is the Wolf Pack's gain, and at a position of need. Without Sherfield, there would be major question marks about who would be running the point guard spot so capably led by Lindsey Drew and Jalen Harris last season. While Sherfield is a combo guard, expect him to have the ball in his hands for much of the game as he's capable of creating his own shot and makes plays for others. He is talented enough Nevada coach Steve Alford signed him to a letter of intent at UCLA. That was before the Bruins fired Alford and Sherfield asked for his release, paving the way for him to begin his career at Wichita State. Sherfield has Top 25-program talent and was the No. 164 recruit nationally in the 2019 class, per 247Sports. Sherfield is a more natural scorer than distributor at this stage in his career, but he can do both and Nevada has a major need at point guard, so I'd expect him to start there. He has decent size and a long wing span on a strong frame, so he could be an elite defender who gets into the opposition and make it difficult for opponents to run their offense. His physical strength also helps him finish at the rim versus contact. And with a season under his belt at Wichita State, Sherfield is one of Nevada's most experienced players given the roster's overall youth.
Key stat: 40.9 – Sherfield's effective shooting percentage last season was 40.9 percent, which would have ranked ninth out of 10 Wolf Pack players last season just ahead of Kane Milling, who had a 40.5 percent effective shooting mark. Every other player on the team was above 51.3 percent. So Sherfield has to improve his efficiency after making just 35.3 percent of his shots as a freshman, including 38.2 percent on twos (you want that around 50 percent) and 30.4 percent on threes (you want that above 35 percent). One big concern for Nevada entering this season is its two best scorers (Sherfield and Desmond Cambridge) have been inefficient scorers in college (Cambridge's effective shooting percentage in two seasons at Brown was 47.2 percent). It's worth remembering Sherfield was a freshman last season playing a large role in a good conference (the American Athletic), so he should be more efficient this season. He has all-conference potential if he does become a more efficient scorer because he should be a plus-defender, too. Sherfield being immediately eligible raises the Wolf Pack's ceiling tremendously in 2020-21 because he's a top talent at a position of need.
Sports columnist Chris Murray provides insight on Northern Nevada sports. Contact him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @ByChrisMurray.