Juwan Staten is Meeting Expectations


Voted the Big 12 preseason player of the year, West Virginia’s senior, point guard Juwan Staten is living up to the hype.

Arguably West Virginia’s top player — Staten has established himself as one of the best point guards in the conference and maybe even the country.

The Dayton, Ohio native began his collegiate career at the University of Dayton where he led the Atlantic 10 in assets with 190 on the season.

During his time in Dayton it was clear the potential was there for Staten to be a big-time point guard. His ability to pass and control the ball was evident and he’s become more than a catch for Bog Huggins and the Mountaineers.

Dec 20, 2014; New York, NY, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers guard Juwan Staten (3) reacts against the North Carolina State Wolfpack during the second half at Madison Square Garden. West Virginia Mountaineers defeated the North Carolina State Wolfpack 83-69. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Staten missed the entire 2011-2012 season due to NCAA transferring rules, and it wasn’t until last season when Staten really began to turn heads.

Last season, Staten averaged 18.1 points and 5.8 assists a game. Staten was named to the First Team All-Big 12 team and was considered one of Huggins’ leaders.

Staten started all 33 games last season and averaged roughly 37 minutes per contest.

At the end of the season, there were rumors of Staten forgoing his senior season and entering the NBA draft, but he ultimately stayed put and the Mountaineer faithful have to be happy with his decision to play one last season.

This season, Staten is leading the Mountaineers in scoring, averaging 16.1 points per game. He is without a doubt a difference maker when on the floor.

Even when he isn’t 100 percent, Staten is a major contributor. A prime example being the Mountaineer’s last game against Texas Tech.

Staten missed the team’s previous game versus TCU with the flu, but returned to action against the Red Raiders.

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In the early going, Staten didn’t look like himself and Huggins’ acknowledged that following the Mountaineer’s 78-67 win in Lubbock.

“He wasn’t Juwan tonight,” said Huggins. “I thought early he forced things. Then I thought he settled down in the second half and played better and did the things he’s really good at doing.”

It was obvious that Staten was still reeling from his illness, but he still managed to lead the Mountaineers in scoring with 16 points.

“When I walked into the locker room he was throwing up in a trash can,” Huggins said. “They [the team] were like, ‘Wannies in there throwing up.’ I said, ‘Good. That’s a good thing, that’s what men do. Men go do their job.”

That’s what men do. Don’t let a little cold bother you. Go play. Sweat it out. – Huggins

“I don’t know how I looked out there, but I was pretty worn down,” said Staten after Monday’s win. “Try not to let them see you hurt or be tired, but I think I was pretty tired out there.”

The preseason Big 12 player of the year is meeting the high expectations that were given to him prior to the season. A utility-man and ace for Huggins and a leader and motivator to his teammates, Staten is proving his worth in each game.

With two Big 12 wins under their belt, Staten and company will begin to see stiffer  conference competition. With No. 17 Iowa State, No. 16 Oklahoma and No. 10 Texas as West Virginia’s next three opponents, the Mountaineers will continue to lean on their leading scorer.

“This is a new year, we had a lot of things happen last year that we turned around this year,” said Staten. “We’ve won a lot of games, we’re getting comfortable every game, but I still think we have yet to play our best.”