LEWISBURG — Bucknell senior center Mike Muscala has been placed on the candidate lists for two of the most prestigious awards in college basketball: the Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year Award and the Lou Henson Award, given by CollegeInsider.com to the Mid-Major player of the year.
Muscala is one of 30 candidates for the Naismith Trophy, which is administered by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. The candidates were selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances to this point in the 2013 men’s college basketball season. In late March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will narrow down the list to four finalists.
For the ninth consecutive year, fans will have the opportunity to text their votes for the player of their choice and help determine the 2013 Naismith Trophy winner. Voting will open to fans on Monday, March 25.
Muscala is joined on the Naismith list by all of the top names in college basketball. Indiana (Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller), Duke (Seth Curry, Mason Plumlee) and Kansas (Ben McLemore, Jeff Withey) have two candidates each. Former Naismith winners include the likes of Lew Alcindor, Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin.
Muscala is one of 25 finalists for the Lou Henson Award for the second year in a row. The Lou Henson Award is presented annually to the top Mid-Major player in Division I college basketball.
Muscala is in the midst of a record-setting senior year for the Bison, who are 23-5 overall, 10-2 in the Patriot League, and one win away from clinching an unprecedented third straight outright Patriot League regular-season championship. Muscala is averaging 19.4 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 2.5 assists per game while shooting 52.4 percent from the field. He leads the Patriot League in scoring, rebounding and blocks and ranks third in field-goal percentage and ninth in assists.
Muscala is the only Division I player in the country averaging at least 18 points and 11 rebounds per game. He is tied for the national lead with 19 double-doubles, and he also ranks third nationally in rebounding, 20th in blocks and 21st in scoring.
Bucknell hosts American tonight at 7 p.m. with a chance to clinch the regular-season crown.