It didn’t take long for Nevada guard Grant Sherfield to make his impact felt in Reno.
A transfer from Wichita State, Sherfield has filled the state sheet with the Nevada men’s basketball team this season, and could be well on his way to earning the Mountain West Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Year award.
The 6-foot-2 sophomore ranks second in the conference with 414 points on the year (18.0 points per game) and 6.2 assists per game. Sherfield scored a career-high 29 points on 9-of-18 shooting in a victory against Boise State Feb. 7. His 2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio leads the conference along with his 87.0 percent free-throw percentage this season.
A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Sherfield and Nevada head coach Steve Alford have had close ties before his arrival with the Wolf Pack. Sherfield committed to UCLA—where Alford coached from 2013—coming out of Sunrise Christian Academy as a senior. Alford was fired before Sherfield committed and instead settled with Wichita State his freshman year.
Sherfield and Alford reconnected at Nevada this season, and his input on a nightly basis has pushed the Wolf Pack into a potential top seed heading into the Mountain West Tournament. Alford knew Sherfield was a special culmination of talent as soon as he stepped foot on campus.
“Grant had initially committed to us at UCLA, so he and the family have an established relationship with me. I’m excited to have him in the beginning of our culture building,” Alford said before the 2020-21 season. “He’s a tremendous individual with a great work ethic. He stands for all the things we want in a student-athlete. This is a huge addition to our program.”
Sherfield hasn’t disappointed with his on-court performance. He is the driving force of Nevada with his combo scoring ability in the paint and from outside. His patience and vision in the half-court set gets fellow Wolf Pack teammates wide open looks, and he’s showcased true leadership qualities on the floor.
When the regular season comes to a close, Sherfiled has the resumé to potentially earn the Mountain West Men’s Basketball Player of the Year. The combo guard is faced with against upper-escelant players within the conference such as Utah State’s Neemias Queta and Boise State’s Derrick Alston Jr. Sherfield has the upper hand in several statistical categories, but Queta is arguably the best player on the top team in the conference, which could earn him more first-place votes as a result.
Sherfield and the 14-7 Wolf Pack (9-5 in conference) have a chance to clinch a top-four seed in the Mountain West Tournament scheduled for March 10-13. If Sherfield continues his dominant performance while Nevada improves in the standings during the regular season, the conference may have no choice but to award him the trophy when all is said and done.
Isaiah Burrows can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @IsaiahBurrows_.