BETHLEHEM, Pa. – C.J. McCollum continues to garner national attention heading into a highly-anticipated senior season. Numerous websites have noted McCollum as one of the best guards in the nation; the Canton, Ohio native owns 2,074 career points, good for second in school history and third in Patriot League history.
McCollum was recognized among the top 10 mid-major guards to watch by basketball writer Jon Rothstein. Here’s what he had to say:
You want a reference for McCollum? Ask Coach K. Lehigh’s star sliced up Duke in the NCAA Tournament by the tune of 30 points, six rebounds, and six assists. Now he’s widely considered to be one of the elite players in college basketball heading into next season. With one more year to showcase his stuff for NBA scouts, look for McCollum to be drafted somewhere in June of 2013.
McCollum was also named the top shooting guard in the nation by the Sporting News:
He plays in the Patriot League. No kidding. He also put in 30 on Duke in the Mountain Hawks’ opening game of the 2012 NCAA Tournament, then followed that with 14 in their elimination loss to Xavier. He has struggled to make shots as consistently as opponents have piled up more and more of their defenses to stop him, but McCollum still has averaged 19 points or better in his three college seasons.
Another season like the one he just had, and McCollum will crack the top 15 of NCAA career scorers — with an opportunity to perhaps pass No. 13, a gentleman named Larry Bird.
In addition, Rob Fauster of NBC Sports says the following:
I love CJ McCollum. I think what he did in leading Lehigh to an upset of No. 2 seed Duke in the opening round of the NCAA tournament was special and memorable and the kind of performance that will not easily be forgotten. He’s the best of a group of very, very talented mid-major guards.
McCollum was also featured on the cover of the Spring, 2012 Lehigh Alumni Bulletin titled “Mountain Hawk Madness.” Please click here to view the cover.
A two-time Patriot League Player of the Year, McCollum finished fifth nationally in points per game last season (21.9) while averaging 6.5 rebounds and dishing a team-leading 124 assists. He led Lehigh to an 82-77 win at Bucknell in the Patriot League Championship Game and followed that with 30 points in a historic 75-70 win over Duke, only the sixth time a #15 seed has ever defeated a two seed. Perhaps his most impressive honor came in the form of ECAC Player of the Year laurels, beating out players from the ACC, Big East and Atlantic 10 to take home the award. McCollum was also named an AP Honorable Mention All-American for the second time in the last three years.