McCollum and Knutson named 2012-13 team captains
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Lehigh head coach Brett Reed announced on Thursday that seniors C.J. McCollum and Gabe Knutson will serve as 2012-13 team captains. Both All-Patriot League performers and 1,000-point scorers, McCollum is a three-year captain while Knutson earns captain distinction for the first time. Entering their senior seasons, the duo has helped Lehigh to two Patriot League Championships, combining for 3,184 career points while also making their mark off the court as leaders.
“C.J. has been a very reliable performer on the floor and has grown as a leader over the course of his career,” said Reed. “Our team has a great deal of confidence because C.J. exudes confidence in his performance and that ultimately transfers to his teammates. They feel more confident in their ability because he handles pressure situations and adversity very well.”
McCollum is currently second in Lehigh and Patriot League history in career scoring. He needs only 151 points to break the league mark of 2,224 held by Holy Cross’ Rob Feaster, while he’s 630 from breaking the school record of 2,703 currently held by Daren Queenan. McCollum has been a consistent scorer from day one, averaging 19.1 points per game as a freshman, 21.8 as a sophomore and 21.9 a season ago. He is well-known nationally for his dominant 30-point performance in Lehigh’s NCAA Tournament win over Duke. McCollum also led the Mountain Hawks in assists and rebounds a season ago.
“C.J.’s calming influence really helps his teammates,” said Reed. “He’s grown in his vocal leadership and also his consistency in various aspects of the game. Players respect him and look to him for his leadership potential.”
Knutson has been a standout since stepping foot on campus, starting from day one while developing into an All-Patriot League performer on the court and two-time Academic All-League honoree as well.
“Gabe has not only been a very productive player for us on the floor, but he’s also been a model citizen within our program,” said Reed. “He’s a young man who really values his academics; he sets a precedence there. He comes every day with a high basketball IQ and has solid relationships with his teammates.”
“I think both players will complement each other well in this situation,” said Reed. “Asking one at this stage to do it by themselves wouldn’t be fair. However, because they have different personalities and approach things differently, they can play off each other and complement one another in such a way that meets our needs - both the needs of our players and being able to communicate with the coaching staff in such a way to continue to grow the culture of our program.”
Check back to Lehighsports.com for continued updates on the Lehigh men’s basketball team leading into a much-anticipated 2012-13 season.
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