Sherfield shines in return after rumor he had quit the team


Marshall Sunner

Wichita State freshman Grant Sherfield looks to pass during the game against USF on Feb. 20 inside Charles Koch Arena.

On Wednesday, Wichita State fans woke up to rumors. It all started with a single tweet.

Any truth to the rumors that Grant Sherfield quit the team?

Social media was buzzing. No media outlets could report on the issue because they didn’t have any answers. It was just constant questioning with no answers. There was nothing to report at that time.

Sherfield was still on the team. He went to practice on Wednesday, had a meeting with Gregg Marshall, and suited up for Thursday night’s game against Temple.

But Sherfield didn’t play.

“I want him to do some things a little different and he’s going to try and do that,” Marshall said after Thursday’s 72-69 win over the Owls. “We’re going to work with him. He’s a great kid. I love him in my program, but there’s a couple of things he’s got to adjust, tweak. It’s not going to be hard if he wants to do it, and I think he does.

“So, we’ll move on.”

Whatever Sherfield was told to adjust, he did. He went from playing one of the worst games of his career — a zero-point outing against Cincinnati in which he didn’t play the final 16:41 — to being a main catalyst in Sunday’s 24-point comeback victory at Southern Methodist.

Marshall praised him for his efforts.

“Grant Sherfield did a wonderful job of getting into gaps and spoon-feeding Dexter Dennis wide open threes,” Marshall said. “He’s getting better off of the bounce.”

The freshman rose to the occasion in the absence of fellow freshman Noah Fernandes, who did not play against the Mustangs due to a lingering foot injury. Sherfield didn’t seem to miss a beat, scoring 14 points on 50% shooting off of the bench while dishing out six assists. He also grabbed two rebounds.

Sherfield also hit four huge three-pointers to help his team overcome the imposing deficit.

Regardless of what rumors were floating around, Sherfield is on the team. He stepped up at a critical juncture, putting a bad game and rumors in the past to deliver for his team.

His performance is partially responsible for helping keep the Shockers’ at-large NCAA Tournament hopes alive. With the win over the Mustangs, Joe Lunardi has moved WSU farther up on Last Four In line.

This was the kind of game Sherfield’s head coach has wanted to see him play all year. At times, Marshall has been displeased with the freshman’s ball-handling efforts. Even though Sherfield finished the game with three turnovers, Marshall said he was pleased to see growth – and he knows Sherfield helped win that game.

“Today, Grant looked like a point guard,” he said. “That’s what we’ve been wanting him to look like. He was even defending with energy.

“This wouldn’t have been possible without him.”