Ben Queen/WVMetroNews

West Virginia point guard Juwan Staten and coach Bob Huggins watch from the sidelines as the Mountaineers faced Oklahoma in a Sept. 20 football game. Preseason basketball practice opens Friday.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — After Thursday’s announcement that Big 12 basketball coaches had voted him preseason player of the year, West Virginia’s Juwan Staten rewound his thoughts to the start of last year.

That’s when Staten was not a candidate for any preseason accolades. When some questioned whether he had the guts and poise to run a team.

Staten buried those doubts, emerging as an all-conference performer and one of the nation’s most cherished point guards. Few teams depended on a player as much as West Virginia relied on Staten. His 37 minutes per game led the Big 12 and revealed a deepened trust with coach Bob Huggins after the two survived some rocky moments during Staten’s sophomore season.

Other coaches across the league showed their respect for Staten this week, making him a unanimous selection to the preseason team.

“It just makes me hungrier,” Staten told MetroNews “Sportsline” on Thursday night. “It makes me want to keep working and reach more goals.”

As preseason practice opens Friday, Staten is the Big 12’s top returning scorer (18.1 points per game). His 2.8 assist-to-turnover ratio ranked second in the league and his 48.6 field-goal percentage was third, but he said he “wants to become a compete point guard,” which means becoming a credible threat from 3-point range.

“Everyone’s going to say stop him from getting to the rim and make him shoot outside shots,” Staten said. “They tried to do that to me last year. So that’s why I’ve been working hard on my shooting.”

After going 0-of-9 from 3-point range as a sophomore, Staten was 6-of-15 last season. That’s a 40-percent clip that would render defenders useless if Staten can maintain the accuracy over a few more attempts.

Preseason All-Big 12
Juwan Staten, G, West Virginia
Perry Ellis, F, Kansas
Georges Niang, F/C, Iowa State
Marcus Foster, G, Kansas State
Buddy Hield, G, Oklahoma

Honorable mentions: Ryan Spangler (Oklahoma), Le’Bryan Nash (Oklahoma State), Jonathan Holmes (Texas), Cameron Ridley (Texas) and Isaiah Taylor (Texas).

Preseason Newcomer of the Year
Bryce Dejean-Jones (Iowa State)

Preseason Freshmen of the Year
Cliff Alexander (Kansas) and Myles Turner (Texas) tied

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  • GoEers

    Very well deserved preseason honor.

  • Ron from Morgantown

    I hope I'm wrong , - but I try to be intelligence honest . I think Staten may actually slip this year and I wonder about the team . Is it possible to land so many JUCO players and have them be so good ? That seems too easy . Need a quick fix ? Grab a JUCO , problem solved . Just add water .

    • Scott

      You should check the roster before you give an analysis like that. WVU only has two JUCO players that are expected to compete for quality playing time. Most power 5 teams have at least one or two JUCO players on the roster. You'll have to find something else to attack coach Huggins with. Enjoy the seaso, GO HERD!!

  • any major dude

    With this kind of leadership, plus the talent on the floor surrounding Wanny, I see WVU competing in the Big12 this year. Hopefully we can develop some depth too so we can compete all game all season.

  • WVU Fan

    WVU will have much better success in basket ball this season.

  • Dave

    Lead us Wanny, lead us.

  • FungoJoe

    That is a nice honor for Staten. With Kansas and their 5-star recruits, to be a unanimous pick by the coaches is something. But there is no trophy for pre-season honors. Let's hope that he is still the POY at season's end.

  • the flying dutchman

    the world and wvu both need more juwan statens .....he is the story of the year for wvu atheletics....nothing else is close...great player and role model for kids...go juwan go mounties

  • Big Rick

    This is music to Big Rick's EARS! I am just plain jazzed that he decided to stay this year, he is a true leader. I sure hope his decision to stay in school pays dividends.
    -Big Rick

  • Shepnwv

    Well said. Some people in this day and age, can't take constructive criticism.....
    No school like old school.

  • Aaron

    And here we're told that transferring is a horrible thing and that Bob Huggins is too rough on players for them to be successful. It seems some people aren't barry bright.

    Congratulations to young Mr. Staten. I'm sure your hard work will pay off this year.

    It should also be noted that WVU has the women's preseason player of the year as well as Bria Holmes was voted the Big 12 POY.