By The Daily Item
LEWISBURG -- Senior men's basketball standout Mike Muscala has already enjoyed a decorated career at Bucknell, and on Thursday he added another major accolade when he was named to the national Capital One Academic All-America Team. A two-time Academic All-District selection, Muscala earned Academic All-America honors for the first time, and he becomes Bucknell's 123rd all-time Academic All-American, fifth-most among all Division I programs.
The senior is in the midst of a sensational year, stamping his name as one of the top players in Bucknell and Patriot League history. The 6-foot-11 senior leads the league in scoring (19.1), rebounding (11.5) and blocked shots (2.7), and he also leads the team in assists with 71.
He is one of only three players in the nation leading his team in all four of those categories, and he is the only Division I player in the country averaging at least 18 points and 11 rebounds per game.
Muscala also leads the country in double-doubles with 19, and he ranks third nationally in rebounding.
Muscala recently joined the exclusive 1,000-rebound club, making him only the second player in Bucknell and Patriot League history to reach that milestone. On Bucknell's all-time charts, Muscala ranks second in scoring (1,916), second in rebounding (1,025) and second in blocks (263).
In Patriot League history, he ranks fifth in points and second in both rebounds and blocks.
A six-time Patriot League Player of the Week this season, Muscala has helped lead the Bison into first place in the Patriot League standings with three games remaining. Now 22-5 overall and 9-2 in the Patriot League, Bucknell has a one-game lead over Lehigh and a two-game cushion over Lafayette.
Muscala was named to the Academic All-America Third Team, joining many of the top stars in college basketball this season. The first team honorees are Indiana's Cody Zeller, Duke's Mason Plumlee, Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk, Brown's Matthew Sullivan and Ohio State's Aaron Craft, who was named the Academic All-American of the Year.
Second Team honorees include Ben Averkamp of Loyola (Ill.), Matthew Dellavedova of Saint Mary's, Nathan Healy of Appalachian State, Peyton Siva of Louisville and Andrew Smith of Butler. Muscala was joined on the Third Team by Indiana's Jordan Hills, Santa Clara's Marc Trasolini, Montana's Mathais Ward and Campbell's Darren White.
Muscala is the ninth Bucknell men's basketball student-athlete to make the national Academic All-America Team, and the first since Valter Karavanic made it in back-to-back years in 1998 and 1999.
In order to be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be at least a sophomore, be a starter or key reserve, and maintain a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.30 or better.
Muscala, a management major with a 3.36 GPA, made the Academic All-District team as a sophomore in 2010-11 when he was also the Patriot League Player of the Year. Muscala was named to the five-man Academic All-Patriot League Team last season, and this year he is one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award, which honors student-athletes for their success on the court, in the classroom and for their character and service in the community. Muscala was also a Dean's List honoree this fall.