Posted: 10/24/2012 | Last updated: October 24, 2012 at 05:26 PM
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Lehigh men’s basketball team was picked first in the Patriot League preseason poll while seniors C.J. McCollum and Gabe Knutson were both honored at the league’s Media Day held Wednesday at Arts Quest Center at SteelStacks. McCollum was named preseason Player of the Year while Knutson earned a spot on the preseason All-League Team. Both were in attendance, along with head coach Brett Reed, Bucknell’s Mike Muscala and the league’s seven other head coaches.
“This is a great opportunity to celebrate the Patriot League, celebrate our values and celebrate our successes on the court and in the classroom,” said Reed. “It is also a symbolic start to our season. We have already begun preparation, but it’s an indication that our first games are right around the corner. With what we have returning and the expectations that we have for the year, we are as eager as can be to get the season started.”
Reed, McCollum and Knutson met with various local and national media on Wednesday. The day began with opening comments, followed by thoughts from all eight Patriot League head coaches before breaking into media availability.
Lehigh was predicted first in the preseason poll, garnering 12 first-place votes and 96 total points. Bucknell was in a close second with 88 points and four first-place votes. American was predicted third (66), Holy Cross and Lafayette tied for fourth (55), Army sixth (47), Colgate seventh (26) and Navy eighth (15). Joining McCollum and Knutson on the preseason All-Patriot League Team was Muscala and Cameron Ayers of Bucknell, along with Ella Ellis of Army. McCollum was named preseason Player of the Year for a third straight season.
“I’m really pleased for the individual attention that our players have been able to receive, and the appreciation that other Patriot League schools have for their talent,” said Reed. “I’m also pleased that we were considered at a high level within our league based on the preseason poll. However, having been around this league for over a decade, I know that preseason polls really don’t mean much. There’s generally a great deal of fluctuation as teams flush out their identity and play to truly who they are as opposed to these predictions.”
The Mountain Hawks continue hard at work preparing for their season opener just over two weeks away at Baylor. That game is set for Friday, Nov. 9 at 5 p.m. (Eastern). Check back to Lehighsports.com for continued updates leading into a much-anticipated 2012-13 season.
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2012-13 Patriot League Preseason Poll: Points
1. Lehigh (12 first-place votes): 96
2. Bucknell (4): 88
3. American: 66
4. Holy Cross: 55
6. Army: 47
7. Colgate: 26
8. Navy: 15
Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year: C.J. McCollum, Lehigh (Sr., G)
Patriot League Preseason All-League Team
Cameron Ayers, Bucknell (Jr., G)
Ella Ellis, Army (Sr., F)
Gabe Knutson, Lehigh (Sr., F)
C.J. McCollum, Lehigh (Sr., G)
Mike Muscala, Bucknell (Sr., F/C)