Lehigh's C.J. McCollum was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers at No. 10 overall in the NBA Draft on Thursday.
June 27, 2013
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A historic night for Patriot League men's basketball lived up to its billing as Lehigh's C.J. McCollum and Bucknell's Mike Muscala were each selected in the NBA Draft on Thursday at the Barclays Center.
McCollum was picked in the lottery, going No. 10 overall to the Portland Trail Blazers. Muscala heard his name called a few hours later when he was selected in the second round at No. 44 by the Dallas Mavericks, though the pick was later traded to the Atlanta Hawks.
"The love and support from Lehigh is great," McCollum told LehighSports.com after his selection. "We've never had an NBA player before. The second player drafted from the Patriot League. This is a blessing to be in a position where I can represent my home state, my city, Lehigh and my family."
He added, ""You have to prove yourself night in and night out. That's something I pride myself in. My family and I will take it all in tonight, but tomorrow is back to work, back to business. I'll have to turn the page, get ready for summer league, get ready for the next step and the challenge of playing in the NBA."
McCollum and Muscala became the second and third players ever drafted out of the Patriot League. Prior to Thursday's draft, the only other selection had been Colgate's Adonal Foyle (1994-97), who was picked in the first round, eighth overall, by the Golden State Warriors in 1997.
Foyle went on to have a 12-year NBA career while playing mainly for Golden State (1997-07) and Orlando (2007-09). The only former Patriot Leaguer to play in the NBA, Foyle averaged 4.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks while playing 733 games over the course of his career.
McCollum was enjoying a fine senior season in 2012-13 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. He 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 also finished fifth in League history with 230 steals.
McCollum was named Patriot League Player of the Year as a freshman in 2010, when he became the only honoree of both the Player and Rookie of the Year awards in the same season. He was again named Patriot League Player of the Year in 2012, and led Lehigh to the Patriot League title each year. He also helped the Mountain Hawks to one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history as a junior when Lehigh beat Duke 75-70 in a second-round contest. McCollum's 14 career Anaconda Player of the Week awards are the most in League history.
McCollum graduated from Lehigh with a degree in Journalism in May. He was also honored for his work in the classroom and off the court during his career. McCollum was a Senior CLASS Award first-team All-American in April, and made the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll as a junior.
Muscala became the first student-athlete in Patriot League history to win both the Player and Defensive Player of the Year awards in 2013, and did not stop there. He 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) in 2012-13. He finished fourth in the nation in rebounding, and set a Patriot League record with 378 boards for the season. His 22 double-doubles led 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 Foyle. 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.
Muscala was also a standout in the classroom during his time at Bucknell before graduating with a degree in Management in May. In addition to the Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards, he is one of only two student-athletes to make the Academic All-Patriot League Team in each of its three seasons of existence and also earned a spot on the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll in three of his four seasons. Like McCollum, Muscala was a Senior CLASS Award first-team All-American in April after also being named a third-team Capital One Academic All-American during the season.
A rundown of media coverage for both players heading into the draft is available here. Clips will be added in the coming days with reaction to the selections.