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Captain Staten Leading Mountaineers

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MORGANTOWN -

Players in every sport lead in different ways. Some lead by example. Others choose to be vocal leaders. Some will combine both types of leadership skills to help their team put up as many wins as possible.

WVU Guard Juwan Staten falls into the latter category. Staten is leading the Mountaineers with his voice and his play on the floor.

"I consider myself to be a leader," Staten said following West Virginia's 95-53 exhibition win over Glenville State. "The team voted me a captain even though I didn't play last year. That is what I try to do is go out there and be a leader on the court."

Rarely will you find a transfer taking over as a team leader in their first year of eligibility at a new school. That says a lot about how much Staten is doing in practice and behind the scenes for WVU.

"I felt last year that we lacked that guard that brought everyone together. I want to go out and be a leader every time I step on the court. I feel like I know what is going on so it is my job to help people that don't and make sure the team gets into the plays we need to get into and play the defense that we need to play."

Staten's path to a leadership role truly began last year. He was able to practice with the team but not allowed to play in any games due to the NCAA's transfer rules. That did not prevent him from working hard to be ready for the 2012-2013 season.

"In practice I was always talking with Coach Huggs learning the things he likes and doesn't like and trying to preach that to the players in practice," Staten said. "It is kind of hard when you are not playing because they look at you like yea, yea but you are not out here with us. It is easier this year when I am out there trying to do what I am telling them to do."

Staten was out there with his teammates Tuesday night. He put up the best all-around performance on the team scoring 16 points while dishing out six assists.

"I though Juwan was good," Head Coach Bob Huggins said. "He tried to run the team. Six assists and no turnovers."

Moments after the game and before the team analyzed the film together with the coaching staff, Staten already knew what he wanted to stress to his teammates.

"We need to rebound better, we need to run our plays better and we need to step it up on defense," Staten said. "We are still not playing the way we should be playing on defense and there are some things we need to see on film and fix in practice."

WVU has less than a week to fix those problems before the season opener at No. 21 Gonzaga, which is the team that knocked WVU out of the NCAA tournament last March.

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