By Kyle Lovern
MORGANTOWN – West Virginia University’s basketball team got some good news over the weekend. All Big-12 guard Juwan Staten will return for his senior season.
Staten had thought about testing the waters for the upcoming NBA draft.
If he would have left, it would have been a big blow for the Mountaineers who had already lost junior-to-be Eron Harris who is transferring.
Coach Bob Huggins sent out some statements concerning Staten’s decision. “We are thrilled and excited to have Juwan return for his senior season. We are looking forward to coaching and helping Juwan achieve every goal that he has set for himself and for the team,” he stated.
“Juwan’s improvement from his sophomore season to his junior season this year was unbelievable. 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. 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 added.
Staten, who was the leader of the WVU team this season, had this to say.
“After talking to my parents and coach Huggins, I have decided to return to West Virginia University for my senior season. 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.”
“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 added.
“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,” Staten said.
Staten comes back following a season in which he led the Big 12 conference in both points and assists. He was also named to the Big-12 all-defensive team.
Mountaineer fans should be excited for next season. With everyone returning except for Harris, the future looks bright for WVU. The addition of big men
Jonathan Holton and Elijah Macon will help. Two freshman guards will also be coming into Morgantown this fall.
WVU has missed the NCAA Tournament for two years in a row. That should change in March of 2015.
(Kyle Lovern is the Sports Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 304-235-4242, ext. 33 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)