Three WVU men’s basketball players will miss the Mountaineers’ Big 12 Conference opener at No. 17 Texas as they undergo COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Guard Taz Sherman, forward Gabe Osabuohien and guard Kobe Johnson all will not play against the Longhorns, confirming Bob Huggins’s note that “a few” players had been pulled due to COVID-19 protocols. These are the first such absences of the 2021-22 season for West Virginia as the virus again begins to affect college athletic schedules around the country.

Sherman is the Mountaineers’ leading scorer, averaging 20.9 points per game. That is sure to affect WVU’s offense, however the squad still retains double-digit scorer Sean McNeil, the reigning Big 12 Player of the Week.

Osabuohien is one of the team’s defensive leaders, playing almost 17 minutes per game. Johnson, a true freshman, sees wavering minutes, but plays some of the most minutes among the team’s newcomers at 11.7 per game.

Tip-off between the Mountaineers and the Longhorns is set for noon ET on ESPNU.