Bucknell's Muscala Selected as Candidate for Naismith Award

Bucknell's Mike Muscala

Feb. 27, 2013

Naismith Award
Lou Henson Award

LEWISBURG, Pa. - Bucknell senior center Mike Muscala has been named one of 30 finalists for the Naismith Men's College Player of the Year Award presented by AT&T and also recognized as one of 25 players up for the Lou Henson Award, given by CollegeInsider.com to the Mid-Major Player of the Year.

The Naismith Trophy is administered by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. The candidates were selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances to this point in the 2013 men's college basketball season. In late March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will narrow down the list to four finalists. The Naismith Men's College Player of the Year presented by AT&T will be awarded on April 7, 2013 in Atlanta.

For the ninth consecutive year, fans will have the opportunity to text their votes for the player of their choice and help determine the 2013 Naismith Trophy winner. Voting will open to fans on Monday, March 25.

Muscala is joined on the Naismith list by all of the top names in college basketball. Indiana (Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller), Duke (Seth Curry, Mason Plumlee) and Kansas (Ben McLemore, Jeff Withey) have two candidates each. Former Naismith winners include the likes of Lew Alcindor, Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin.

Muscala is one of 25 finalists for the Lou Henson Award for the second year in a row. The Lou Henson Award is presented annually to the top Mid-Major player in Division I college basketball. The award is named in honor of Lou Henson who retired after a spectacular coaching career that lasted 41 years. When he left the game in 2005 he was sixth all-time in career Division I wins with 779. He is the winningest coach at both Illinois and New Mexico State. He is one of only 12 coaches in the history of the game to take two schools to the Final Four.

The 2013 Award will be presented at the CollegeInsider.com awards banquet in Atlanta, site of the men's NCAA Basketball Championship.

For the second straight year CollegeInsider.com is working with Point3 Basketball to promote the Lou Henson award fan vote, which will constitute 33% of the final vote.

Muscala is in the midst of a record-setting senior year for the Bison, who are 23-5 overall, 10-2 in the Patriot League, and one win away from clinching an unprecedented third straight outright Patriot League regular-season championship. Muscala is averaging 19.4 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 2.5 assists per game while shooting 52.4 percent from the field. He leads the Patriot League in scoring, rebounding and blocks and ranks third in field-goal percentage and ninth in assists.

Muscala is the only Division I player in the country averaging at least 18 points and 11 rebounds per game. He is tied for the national lead with 19 double-doubles, and he also ranks third nationally in rebounding, 20th in blocks and 21st in scoring.

Muscala recently became one of only two active college basketball players with 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds, and he is only the second player in Bucknell and Patriot League history to reach both of those milestones. Entering Wednesday's home game against American, Muscala has 1,941 career points, which is just 32 shy of Al Leslie's Bucknell record.

Muscala also shines off the basketball floor, where he is a Dean's List student in Bucknell's challenging management program. Last week he was named to the Capital One Academic All-America Third Team, and he is currently one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award, which recognizes achievement in four areas: community, classroom, character and competition. Nationwide fan voting is now underway to help select the winner.