After a flurry of recruiting interest from top basketball schools like Louisville, Texas, Miami, Baylor and Penn State – Juwan Staten decided to become a Nittany Lion.
“I took my first visit to Penn State and I listened to what Coach (Ed) DeChellis had to say,” Staten said. “It seemed like what he had to say was something I could relate to. He said he would let me play as a guard in an offensively oriented scheme.”
He added, “He said would help me play my game and help me get better.”
Staten’s visit to Happy Valley would prove to be the only one he needed.
“I liked everything,” Staten said. “I like the campus because it’s a big beautiful campus. I liked the players and I got along with them. I also liked the coaching staff, the facilities, and I really liked the academics too -- that’s a big part of the equation.”
Staten committed to play basketball for the University of Dayton as a sophomore in high school, and enjoyed reliving parts of the recruiting process he missed by committing early.
It was kind of fun,” Staten said of his recent recruitment. “I decided on Dayton so early that I didn’t really take any visits, I didn’t really see what schools were going to come to me.”
This time around was different. “I got to see the schools that offered me, it was fun to see my work pay off,” Staten said.
Even though Staten led the Atlantic 10 in assists, was named to the A-10 all-rookie team and led Dayton to a birth in the NIT – he was looking for more.
“I had a pretty successful season as a freshman, now I’m just continuing to work on my game,” Staten said. “Ultimately I decided I wanted to get away from home and play for a team that I thought could be a great team.”
That the Lions recently made the NCAA Tournament for the first time in a decade only made his decision easier.
“The tourney birth had impact in a positive way,” Staten said of his decision. “I look at Coach DeChellis as a coach that gets the most out of his team and he did a good job with his team this year.”
He continued, “With the recruits coming in I think we will be able to get to the tourney for years to come.”
Perhaps what Staten is looking forward to the most is change — specifically moving out of his hometown.
“I think the biggest change will be moving to a bigger school and just being away from home,” Staten said. “I have been at Dayton my whole life and I am ready to get away.”
Even though Staten will be leaving his hometown, his family supports his big move.
“My family is all behind me 100 percent,” Staten said. "They all like the school, the academics and the coach.”
And, most importantly, his dad approves of the Nittany Lions.
“My dad is my inspiration,” Staten said. “He got me started playing basketball and he is the one that put the sport in my head and has been training me since I was little. I want to do great things to make him proud.”
Even though Staten will have to sit out during the 2011-2012 season, he can’t wait to get to Happy Valley.
“I am excited to be part of Penn State nation,” Staten said. “And I want to thank them for their support by getting behind me and welcoming me with open arms. I’m looking forward to being at Penn State and my career at Penn State."