Despite the things he did last season, Staten was also a distraction at times. He began the season seemingly intent on fulfilling the promise that accompanied his transfer and started the first 14 games while Huggins tried six starting lineups. He led the team in scoring five times and was playing more than 10 more minutes per game than everyone else.
Then he was benched in the second half of a win at Texas.
"It's my team, not his,'' Huggins said after the game. "We all talk about being on the same page. Well, I wrote the book, so he's going to be on the same page with everybody else or he's going to continue sitting over there.''
Huggins followed through and didn't play Staten at all a few days later in a one-point home loss to Kansas State, a game when Browne, Staten's backup, lost the ball in the backcourt with 9 seconds to play and could only force up a desperate shot at the buzzer.
Staten, who was voted a team captain before the start of last season, started only seven more times in the final 16 games and never led the team in scoring again.
"My whole life, I've been kind of recognized as a leader, so for our coaches to say last year we didn't have any leadership really struck home for me," he said. "I did some personal stuff, some evaluation in the offseason. I looked at a lot of game film and a lot of tape and I thought about some of the things I could do this year to help this team and to separate myself as a leader.''
Huggins said Staten found his coaches in the offseason and asked how he could avoid the problems that hurt himself and his teammates last season. Staten wanted to know how he could lead the team, but also what he needed to do to help the Mountaineers win more games than they did when they finished 13-19 last season.
The answer? A lot.
"He's worked at it and he's put in the hours to figure it out," Huggins said. "But that's what we want. He's done a great job digesting what we want done and he's done a great job leading by example. He stays late and he's put in a bunch of time to do it right."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu