Bucknell's Muscala, Lehigh's McCollum Earn Senior CLASS Award First-Team Honors

Lehigh's C.J. McCollum

April 4, 2013

Men's Basketball Senior CLASS Award

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Bucknell's Mike Muscala and Lehigh's C.J. McCollum were linked one more time in their illustrious careers on Thursday when each student-athlete was named to the Men's Basketball Senior CLASS Award first-team.

The Patriot League was the only conference with a pair of representatives on the first team. Also receiving first-team status was The Citadel's Mike Groselle, Duke's Mason Plumlee and Indiana's Jordan Hulls, the 2012-13 Men's Basketball Senior CLASS Award winner.

Second-team status went to Matthew Dellavedova (Saint Mary's), Jonathan Lee (Northeastern), Peyton Siva (Louisville), Andrew Smith (Butler) and Marc Trasolini (Santa Clara).

For Muscala, the first-team honor is the latest in a long line of postseason recognition. This week, he was selected to play in the Reese's Division I College All-Star Game on Friday afternoon and was named an Honorable Mention All-American by the Associated Press. Previously, Muscala was named a first-team ECAC All-Star, Lute Olson All-American and NABC All-District first-team selection. He was also named a third-team All-American by NetScouts Basketball as well as an All-American and first-team Low-Major All-American by Breitbart Sports, which used the "value-add" statistic in its evaluation.

Muscala finished as one of 30 finalists for the Naismith Player of the Year award, and was also a Capital One Academic All-American after receiving Academic All-District status.

Muscala became the first student-athlete in Patriot League history to win both the Player and Defensive Player of the Year awards, and did not stop there. The management major with a 3.36 cumulative grade-point average also received the Patriot League Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, and was named Patriot League Tournament Most Valuable Player for the second time after leading the Bison to the League title. He is one of only two players in League history to earn All-Patriot League honors in each of his four seasons.

Muscala led the Patriot League in points (18.7), rebounds (11.1) and blocks (2.4). He stands fourth in the nation in rebounding, and set a Patriot League record with 378 boards for the season. Muscala is also in the top 40 in Division I in both points and blocks, and shot 50.9 percent from the field and 78.9 percent at the free-throw line for the season. His 22 double-doubles lead the nation, with three coming during the Patriot League Tournament.

Muscala finishes with top-five marks in three categories in the Patriot League all-time record book. His 1,093 boards are second in League history behind only the 1,103 of Colgate's Adonal Foyle (1994-97). Muscala finishes his career with 2,036 points, good for fourth place in League annals. He also comes in second place to Foyle with 270 career blocked shots.

McCollum was enjoying a fine senior season before a foot injury on Jan. 5 at VCU ended his campaign. 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.

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 award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I men's basketball coaches, national basketball media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I men's 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 - classroom, community, character and competition.

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