|Juwan Staten led the Big 12 in scoring in 2014 with an average of 18.1 points per game.
|All-Pro Photography/Dale Sparks photo
First team All-Big 12 guard Juwan Staten
announced on Twitter Saturday night that he plans to return to West Virginia University for his senior season.
“After talking to my parents and Coach (Bob) Huggins, I have decided to return to West Virginia University for my senior season,” Staten said today through a statement released by the WVU Sports Communications Office. “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.”
This year Staten became the first player in school history to score more than 500 points (598), grab more than 150 rebounds (186) and hand out more than 150 assists (193) in the same season. His 193 assists were four shy of the school record of 197 established by All-American guard Ron “Fritz” Williams in 1967.
Staten averaged 18.1 points, 5.9 assists and 5.6 rebounds per game in leading the Mountaineers to a 17-16 record in 2014.
“We are thrilled and excited to have Juwan return for his senior season,” said Huggins. “We are looking forward to coaching and helping Juwan achieve every goal that he has set for himself and the team.”
Staten more than doubled his scoring average from his sophomore season in 2013 when he averaged 7.6 points per game. The junior also shot 48.6 percent from the field this season – a dramatic improvement from his 37.6 percent shooting percentage as a sophomore.
“Juwan’s improvement from his sophomore season to his junior season this year was unbelievable,” said Huggins. “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.”
Staten scored a career-high 35 points in West Virginia’s 81-71 victory over Kansas State at the WVU Coliseum on Feb. 1, and he scored 20 or more points 12 times this year. The Dayton, Ohio resident ranked first in the Big 12 in scoring, second in assists, eighth in steals and 19th in rebounding.
Staten toyed with the idea of submitting his name into the draft and indicated such after West Virginia’s 77-65 loss at Georgetown in the first round of the NIT before his announcement on Saturday.
College underclassmen have until April 15 to withdraw their names from the draft after going through the evaluation process. Now, Staten becomes one of the top returning players in college basketball for 2015 and should earn preseason All-America mention, based on his performance this season.
“Since I have been at West Virginia, I have fallen in love with the fans and the entire state of West Virginia,” said Staten. “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.”
Getting Staten back is major news for a West Virginia program that expects to be much better in 2015 with the additions of bigs Jonathan Holton
and Elijah Macon
, who sat out this season.
The Mountaineers will have four of their top five scorers returning in Staten, junior guard Terry Henderson
, sophomore forward Devin Williams
and senior forward Remi Dibo.
West Virginia also signed Jevon Carter, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound guard from Maywood, Ill, and Daxter Miles, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound guard from Baltimore, Md., during last November’s early signing period.