Patriot League Men's Basketball Academic Honors Announced

Bucknell's Mike Muscala

March 4, 2013

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Bucknell senior Mike Muscala took home three major awards from the Patriot League on Monday, adding the Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year title to his honors as the League's Player and Defensive Player of the Year.

Muscala also headlined the Men's Basketball Academic All-Patriot League Team, which he made for a third consecutive season. He was joined on the squad by classmate Bryson Johnson, American sophomore John Schoof, Lafayette sophomore Joey Ptasinski and Lehigh senior Gabe Knutson, who also made the list for the third straight year.

Muscala carries a 3.36 cumulative grade-point average while majoring in Management at Bucknell. He earned third-team Capital One Academic All-America honors last month as well as his second Capital One Academic All-District selection. Muscala is one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award, which honors senior student-athletes who have notable achievements in community, classroom, character and competition. He made the Dean's List (3.5+) in the fall semester and is a member of the Bucknell Bison Leadership Academy.

Muscala has made headlines in the Patriot League throughout his career, but in his senior season he became established as one of the best big men in college basketball. He is one of 30 finalists for the Naismith Player of the Year award, and is also one of 25 up for the Lou Henson Mid-Major Player of the Year honor. Muscala leads the Patriot League in points (19.1), rebounds (11.0) and blocks (2.5). He is tied for the national lead with 19 double-doubles, including nine in his first 10 Patriot League contests. Muscala stands fifth in the nation in rebounding, and in the top 25 in both scoring and blocked shots. He tied a Patriot League single-season record with six Anaconda Player of the Week honors in 2012-13. Muscala is fifth in Patriot League history with 1,971 career points, just two shy of the Bucknell record. He is second in League history in both rebounds (1,045) and blocked shots (265). All of the individual accolades helped Bucknell finish 12-2 in the Patriot League and become the first in League history to win three consecutive outright regular-season titles.

Muscala is the sixth Bucknell student-athlete to win the Patriot League Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, and takes the 10th overall honor for the school and first since Chris McNaughton finished a string of three consecutive nods from 2005-07. He is the second student-athlete in League history to win both the Player and Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards, joining Colgate's Adonal Foyle who pulled off the feat in 1996. Muscala becomes the first to claim three Patriot League major awards in a season.

The rest of the Academic All-Patriot League members all have significant achievements on the court and in the classroom. Johnson holds a 3.40 GPA as an Economics major at Bucknell, and the Patriot League career leader for three-point field goals had a strong senior season with 11.5 points per game. Knutson averaged 13.4 points per game in his senior season at Lehigh, and holds a 3.25 GPA while majoring in Accounting. Schoof carries a 3.38 GPA while majoring in Business Administration at American and averages 9.7 points per game while making 51.1% of his shots from three-point range. Ptasinski majors in Biology at Lafayette and maintains a 3.51 GPA, and put up 9.4 points per game for the Leopards in 2012-13.

The Academic All-Patriot League Team honors student-athletes who excel in their sport and the classroom, and the size equals the sport's first-team All-Patriot League composition. Sports information directors, who are not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes, select the academic award winners. 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: Mike Muscala, Bucknell, Sr.

Men's Basketball Academic All-Patriot League Team
Bryson Johnson, Bucknell, Sr.
Gabe Knutson, Lehigh, Sr.
Mike Muscala, Bucknell, Sr.
Joey Ptasinski, Lafayette, So.
John Schoof, American, So.