Feb. 27, 2012
Patriot League Men's Basketball Academic Awards
Center Valley, Pa. - Lafayette senior Ryan Willen was selected as the 2011-12 Patriot League Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year and earned one of five spots on the sport's Academic All-Patriot League Team, it was announced on Monday. The awards are voted on by the Patriot League's men's basketball sports information directors.
Lafayette and Bucknell each had a pair of student-athletes on the Academic All-Patriot League Team. Willen's classmate, Rob Delaney, joined him on the list, while Bucknell juniors Mike Muscala and Bryson Johnson each made the squad along with Lehigh junior Gabe Knutson. Willen, Knutson and Muscala all repeated on the Academic All-Patriot League Team, which has five student-athletes to equal the size of the sport's All-Patriot League first team
Willen has been a standout on the court and in the classroom throughout his tenure at Lafayette. He made the All-Patriot League team for the second time in his career on Monday, earning first-team status while scoring 14.6 points per contest and also pulling down 5.3 rebounds per game. He placed in the top 10 in the Patriot League in both categories, and also stands in the top 10 in field goal percentage (45.1), free throw percentage (80.7) and steals (1.0).
Willen was selected to the Capital One Academic All-District II team for the second straight season in February. He has a cumulative 3.43 grade-point average while majoring in Neuroscience, and posted a 3.77 mark in the fall semester. Willen plans to attend medical school after graduation.
Willen is the third Lafayette student-athlete to win the Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, joining Mike Farrell (2003-04) and Matt Betley (2007-08).
Muscala and Knutson joined Willen by making the Academic All-Patriot League Team after also earning All-Patriot League honors on Monday. Muscala has 16.7 points and 9.1 rebounds per game for the year, and was even better in Patriot League action with 18.9 points and 9.0 rebounds per contest. Muscala led all players in rebounding in both overall and Patriot League action, and was second in scoring during League play as he earned first-team All-League honors. Knutson ranks in the top 10 in the Patriot League in both scoring (12.1 ppg) and rebounding (5.5 rpg) while making 50 percent of his shots from the field, and earned second-team All-Patriot League honors. Johnson stands third in the Patriot League with 68 three-pointers while averaging 9.0 points per game, while Delaney is having a strong senior season with 9.1 points and 3.7 assists per contest.
Each student-athlete has also excelled in the classroom. Muscala maintains a 3.23 GPA as a Management major with a Spanish minor at Bucknell, and was a part of the 2010-11 Capital One Academic All-District Team. Johnson has recorded a 3.30 GPA while majoring in Economics and joined Willen on this year's Academic All-District squad. Delaney carries a 3.47 GPA as a Government & Law major at Lafayette, while Knutson has a 3.26 mark as an Accounting major at Lehigh.
To be eligible for the Scholar-Athlete of the Year award and the Academic All-Patriot League Team, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.20 cumulative grade point average and be a starter or key player in his/her sport. Freshmen or students in their first academic year at their school are not eligible for the honor.
The Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year for each individual sport comprises the pool of nominees for the Patriot League Male and Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards given out over the summer. One male and one female are selected for this honor.
Patriot League Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Ryan Willen, Lafayette, Sr.
Men's Basketball Academic All-Patriot League Team
Rob Delaney, Lafayette, Sr.
Bryson Johnson, Bucknell, Jr.
Gabe Knutson, Lehigh, Jr.
Mike Muscala, Bucknell, Jr.
Ryan Willen, Lafayette, Sr.