The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

November 27, 2012

Bill Bowman's college sports column: Muscala wants the ball, he needs the ball

Mike Muscala did exactly what you would expect him to do: He fell on the sword and took one for the team on Friday afternoon.

A quick look at the box score after Penn State outlasted Muscala's Bucknell men's basketball team showed that the Bison center, one of the best players to ever play for the program and in the Patriot League, got up four shots.

Four. In 37 minutes.

Ryan Hill and Stephen Kaspar, the two who split time at the point for the Bison, combined for eight shots in 39 minutes.

One of those should happen, in fact maybe a little more. But one of those things should never happen. Ever.

The Bison managed just 41 shots in the game, but for Muscala to get less than 10 percent of them is inexcusable.

When asked if he was frustrated by the lack of shots -- Muscala did turn the ball over three times and the Bison had a couple of turnovers trying to get the ball to him in the double team -- Muscala blamed himself.

"I didn't do a good job of getting good post position or handling it when they started to double," said the All-Patriot center. "The guards did a really good job of looking for me, but I've got to do a better job getting in better position."

Bucknell coach Dave Paulsen quickly jumped in and while he agreed Muscala needed to deal with the double-team better, he also acknowledged they need to get the ball inside.

"Mike got pushed off the post all night, so he does have to do a better job," the fifth-year Bison coach said. "But our guards have to do a better job finding him. We aren't going to win a game against a Big Ten team on the road when Mike gets four shots.

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