Bucknell's Muscala, Lehigh's McCollum Named Senior CLASS Award Finalists

Bucknell's Mike Muscala

Feb. 6, 2013

Vote for Mike Muscala | Vote for C.J. McCollum

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Bucknell's Mike Muscala and Lehigh's C.J. McCollum are two of the most outstanding seniors in college basektball both on and off the court, and were recognized for that success once again on Wednesday as two of the 10 finalists for the 2012-2013 Senior CLASS Award.

Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award website or on the Senior CLASS Award Facebook fan page through March 25. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches' votes to determine the winner.

The Patriot League and West Coast Conference were the only two leagues with more than one representative on the list. The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 men's candidates and 30 women's candidates announced in October, with Lehigh's Gabe Knutson also as part of the initial candidate pool.

Muscala is enjoying one of the best individual seasons in the country and has emerged as a bona fide All-America candidate. He leads the Patriot League with 19.0 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game while ranking second with a 52.4 field-goal percentage and in the top 10 in free-throw percentage (77.9) and assists per game (2.8). He is the only player in the nation averaging at least 19.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per contest, and also leads the country with 16 double-doubles. Muscala stands fourth in the nation in rebounding, 27th in scoring and 16th in blocked shots and is rated as the most efficient player in the nation on ESPN.com.

Muscala is tied for fifth in Patriot League history in scoring (1,836) and stands second in rebounding (979) and blocked shots (254). He has five Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week awards this season and nine in his career, and was named Patriot League Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2011 when he led Bucknell to the League title.

Muscala, a management major with a 3.36 GPA, was named to the Capital One Academic All-District Team last week. It was his second selection to the squad in the last three years. He was a Dean's List honoree this fall and has been selected to the Academic All-Patriot League squad in each of the last two seasons.

McCollum was enjoying a fine senior season before a foot injury on Jan. 5 against VCU. He is expected to miss an extended period of time and his status for the rest of the season is not known. At the time of his injury, the senior guard was second in the country with 23.9 points per game in 12 contests. McCollum was making more than 50 percent of his three-point shots and nearly 50 percent from the field overall.

McCollum became the Patriot League's all-time leading scorer on Nov. 25, and his total of 2,361 points is 137 ahead of second place even with the time missed. McCollum was named Patriot League Player of the Year as a freshman in 2010 and again last season, and led Lehigh to the Patriot League title each year. His 14 career Anaconda Player of the Week awards are the most in League history.

A Journalism major, McCollum made the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll last season.

Ten men's and ten women's basketball student-athletes who excel both on and off the court were selected as finalists Wednesday for the 2012-13 Senior CLASS Awards in collegiate basketball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

The men's Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2013 NCAA Final Four in Atlanta April 6 and 8, while the women's winner will be announced during the NCAA Women's Final Four® in New Orleans April 7 and 9.

For the full release from the Senior CLASS Award website, go here

Men's Finalists
Matthew Dellavedova, Saint Mary's
Mike Groselle, The Citadel
Jordan Hulls, Indiana
Jonathan Lee, Northeastern
C.J. McCollum, Lehigh
Mike Muscala, Bucknell
Mason Plumlee, Duke
Peyton Siva, Louisville
Andrew Smith, Butler
Marc Trasolini, Santa Clara