MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — First came the tweet, and then came the explanation.
Point guard Juwan Staten, who announced his return to West Virginia on Saturday night via social media, released a follow-up statement through the school Sunday.
“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.
West Virginia owns only a 30-35 record during Staten’s two years in Morgantown, but next season carries aspirations of an NCAA tournament appearance with forwards Elijah Macon and Jonathan Holton projected to regain their eligibility.
While Staten possesses NBA-caliber quickness, ball-handling skills and defensive tenacity, he doesn’t appear to be quite as tall as his listed height of 6-foot-1. One NBA scout recently stated the obvious: That Staten needs to extend his shooting range.
“After talking to my parents and Coach Huggins, I have decided to return to West Virginia University for my senior season,” Staten said. “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.”
Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins, after raving all season about Staten’s commitment to improving his game, projects the All-Big 12 guard can make a similar leap entering his senior year.
“Juwan’s improvement from his sophomore season to his junior season this year was unbelievable,” Huggins said. “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.”