With the recent success that NBA teams have had in drafting high scoring combo guards from small schools like Weber State’s Damian Lillard, who may turn out to be this year’s NBA Rookie of the Year with Portland, NBA scouts have their eyes clearly focused on Lehigh University guard CJ McCollum.
While the average hoops fan may have only a faint remembrance of McCollum, who scored 30 points in helping his Mountain Hawks upset Duke in the NCAA 1st Round last year, the Ohio native has quietly put together an impressive resume that includes leading all freshmen in scoring over John Wall in 2010, being named 2 time Patriot League POY, a ’12-’13 Pre-season NCAA All American nod, and oh by the way, is currently leading the nation in scoring at 25.7 ppg.
Now that he is a regular to making Sports Center’s Top Plays, he stands a great chance of being the first Patriot League player to be drafted by the NBA since 1997, when Colgate big man Adonal Foyle was selected by the Golden State Warriors. By most Mock Drafts, McCollum is projected as a mid 1st Round selection for the upcoming 2013 NBA Draft. Standing only 6’3, many project CJ as a scoring point guard in the mold of Lillard, since he is currently averaging more than 3 assists per nigh during his senior season.
McCollum has averaged more than 23 ppg in his 4 seasons at Lehigh but all the draft hype may now be for naught as he left a recent game against VCU after injuring his left foot and going 0-5 from the field before returning after halftime with his left leg heavily wrapped and on crutches.
While there has been no official diagnosis as of yet, McCollum can clearly be seen on the sidelines during the 2nd half telling teammates that he broke his foot. If the break is confirmed, he would likely miss upwards of 6-8 weeks, and potentially give a damning blow to not only his draft stock but Lehigh’s chances of holding off Bucknell in the Patriot League race to the NCAA’s.
CJ McCollum Injury vs VCU:
Allen Moll has been a lifelong NBA and NCAA College Basketball fan who watches and studies games religiously, and coaches youth basketball in his native Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. Allen has also provided content to Bleacherreport.com, Upperdeckblog.com, Cleveland.com, CSN Philly.com, Buckets Magazine, in addition to being a tenured NBA and NCAA columnist for TheHoopDoctors.com.