The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

March 31, 2014

WVU’s Staten decides to return for senior season

MORGANTOWN — The West Virginia University basketball program, which has not had much good news over the past couple of years, got the best news it could have gotten as All-Big 12 point guard Juwan Staten announced Sunday that he will return for his senior season.

Staten had said following WVU’s victory over Kansas in the final regular season game of the year that he planned to explore his prospects of leaving early for the NBA.

His return became even more of an issue a few days after the Mountaineers were eliminated from the NIT with a first-round loss to Georgetown when his backcourt running mate Eron Harris, the team’s second-leading scorer and the Big 12’s third-leading scorer with a 17-point-a-game average announced that he had decided to transfer from WVU.

Had Staten followed WVU would have lost 35 points a game out of their backcourt along with one of the nation’s top playmakers and a team leader in Staten, but Staten decided that he wanted to continue his college career.

“After talking to my parents and Coach Huggins, I have decided to return to West Virginia University for my senior season,” Staten said in a release from the school. “It has always been a dream of mine to play in the NBA and a dream of mine to hear my name called as a lottery pick in the NBA draft. I believe everything happens for a reason and I have a good feeling about playing my senior season at WVU.”

There were a lot of questions as to whether Staten, despite his outstanding season, would have been a first-round selection in the NBA.

While a slick passer and often spectacular while driving to the hoop, Staten’s shooting needs work, especially from beyond the 3-point line. This past season he made just six 3-point shots and attempted only 15.

He also needs to get stronger and while he is extremely quick, almost everyone in the NBA possesses that skill.

Huggins has little doubt that Staten will do all he can to improve in the areas in which he needs improvement to move on to the next level.

“Juwan’s improvement from his sophomore season to his junior season this year was unbelievable,” Huggins said, noting that he became the first player in school history to score more than 500 points, dish out more than 150 assists and grab more than 150 rebounds in a season.

Staten finished this season averaging 18.1 points a game while dishing out 196 assists and grabbing 5.6 rebounds per contest.

“His work ethic is second to none, and I know Juwan will put in the time in the practice facility in the offseason to improve his game even more,” Huggins said.

The NBA is not the only goal Staten has as he returns.

He is also aiming toward another goal, one that perhaps has peaked during this current NCAA Tournament.

Staten wants to get to the tournament during his collegiate career, hoping he did not miss his chance this year.

Staten originally played at Dayton before transferring to WVU and sitting out last year. This would have been his senior season with the Flyers and, who knows, had he stayed he might have engineered their Cinderella run even further, into the Final Four.

“I have a lot of respect for Coach Huggins and the basketball staff. I have never been to the NCAA tournament and I want to get Coach Huggins and my teammates back to the NCAA tournament,” Staten said.

He also expressed how strongly he feels about West Virginia and its fans.

“Since I have been at West Virginia, I have fallen in love with the fans and the entire state of West Virginia. I love the state and this university and I certainly want to give back to the fans for my fifth season. I am excited about next year’s team, and we are going to prepare as hard as we can to get back to the NCAA tournament,” he said.

“We are thrilled and excited to have Juwan return for his senior season,” Huggins said. “We are looking forward to coaching and helping Juwan achieve every goal that he has set for himself and for the team.”

 Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel.

Text Only
Bob Herzel
  • HERTZEL COLUMN: O’Toole joins long list of eccentric WVU kickers, punters

    The star of the Big 12’s annual football media day wasn’t a star at all.
    He intrigued the media far more than Bob Stoops, the coach of preseason favorite Oklahoma, and more than Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, the preseason player of the year.

    July 25, 2014

  • WVU, N.C. State to meet in football

    Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.
    The Mountaineers are scheduled to play N.C. State in Raleigh on Sept. 15, 2018, and then play host to the Wolfpack on Sept. 14, 2019.

    July 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention

    When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.

    July 24, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 23, 2014

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time(1).jpg Trickett’s play key factor for Mountaineers’ success

     In the end, it comes down to the quarterback.
    Always has with Dana Holgorsen, always will.
    Quarterback is the offense with the West Virginia University coach. When he does well, the team wins – almost always.
    When he does poorly, the team doesn’t stand much of a chance.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Saban, family happy at Alabama

    Alabama football coach Nick Saban, whose team opens the season against West Virginia in Atlanta on Aug. 30, denied receiving or turning down this offseason an offer of $100 million to coach Texas, indicating he planned to finish his career as coach of the Crimson Tide.

    July 18, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Quarterback child prodigy’ comes to WVU amidst very high expectations

    Has West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen finally put the arrow he needs in his quiver with the commitment received Wednesday from high school quarterback David Sills, who is a rather extraordinary story and may also just be a rather extraordinary quarterback?

    July 18, 2014

  • WVU kicker Molinari ‘All-American boy’

    West Virginia kicker Mike Molinari may not be an All-American but he is an All-American boy.
    He was honored for that on Wednesday when the Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association announced the West Virginia redshirt senior kicker/punter Michael Molinari is a nominee for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.

    July 16, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Smallwood puts future in jeopardy

    The last thing West Virginia’s struggling football program needed as twilight was setting on Bastille Day in Morgantown was to have one of its own whisked off to the North Central Regional Jail on a fugitive warrant from another state, especially a player who had figured to play a key role in the resurrection of a program gone bad.

    July 16, 2014

  • WVU player arrested in Delaware case

    West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood has been arrested by university police and is being held at North Central Regional Jail awaiting extradition on a felony warrant out of Delaware.

    July 15, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads