Earlier Monday, West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins fielded multiple questions from the national media. Naturally, the first topic of conversation was junior point guard Juwan Staten, who scored 35 points against Kansas State and was named the Big12 Player of the Week.
Huggins says Staten has been "terrific" this season.
“He’s been terrific,” said Huggins. “He’s really studied film. He’s trying to learn the game, and I think (his success) has a lot to do with his decision making. He’s gotten so much better with his decision making - when to go, when not to go, when to get the ball to other guys.”
There has also been a tremendous improvement in his perimeter shooting. After not making a single three last year, Staten is shooting 38.5% from beyond the arc, and is making 52.7% of his attempts from the field.
“He’s worked really, really hard on his shooting,” said Huggins. “And when he’s making that 17 to 18-foot jumper, he’s hard to guard.”
Staten’s improvement has helped spur a turnaround for this Mountaineer basketball team as well. After some rough losses early in the season, West Virginia has won 3-of-4 and is above .500 in the toughest conference in the country.
“We’re getting better,” said the Mountaineer head coach. “We’re so young to begin the year. I think our freshmen are starting to understand what it takes to win in this league. I don’t think they understood that at the beginning of the year. As much as the older guys tried to tell them, I don’t think they knew how hard it was going to be, night in and night out.”
Although, talk of the NCAA Tournament and the Big12 race has crept into Mountaineer fans’ minds, Huggins says he is still going game-by-game.
“I haven’t paid much attention (to the Big12 race),” said Huggins. “(The media) asked me the other day about our next couple of games, but I didn’t know who we played after Oklahoma.
“I assumed it was Kansas because I got a bunch of ticket requests.”