Mike Muscala, Bucknell’s Basketball Beast

Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

If you were all wrapped up in Super Bowl coverage or deer antler PED stories, chances are you missed an amazing stat line courtesy of Bucknell Bison big man Mike Muscala. And if you’ve followed the Patriot League, the only “real” star-power the league has had was Lehigh guard C.J. McCollum. There’s a new star on the map who has been known to dabble in the rap music game.

Yes, he’s a tall white kid who likes rap music, so what?

Muscala, a senior, has steadily improved in every facet of his game throughout his four-year career at the small Lewisburg, Pennsylvania university. He hasn’t necessarily gotten that much bigger physically during his time on campus, but his game has certainly bulked up. At 6-foot-11 and 239 pounds, he’s a nightmare matchup for whoever guards him–or tries to guard him.

Every coach recruits student-athletes to perform both on the court and (hopefully) in the classroom–Muscala has exceeded in both. Head coach Dave Paulsen sure got it right.

Muscala’s freshman year, he averaged rather modest numbers–9.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game. In any league, let alone the Patriot League, coaches would kill for that production from any player, regardless of what year he is.

Skip to his senior year, 2012-13, and he’s straight balling, averaging 19 ppg, 11.5 rpg, and 2.7 bpg, all good for tops in the Patriot League thanks to McCollum’s injury. And he’s not your typical big man who can’t hit his free throws–Muscala drains 77.6 percent from the line. And he’s got a knack for getting there–he’s made 127 of his 163 attempts, also tops in the Patriot League.

And he’s not just doing it against the likes of league opponents. Against MAAC-leader Niagara, he put up 18 points and 16 boards in a win. In the operner this year against Purdue, 14 points, 10 rebounds. In a two-point loss at No. 12 Missouri he totaled 25 points and 14 rebounds. So he’s proving he can do it regardless what the level of competition is.

His rebounding totals–11.5 rpg–are good for 3rd in Division I. Last time out, a 69-54 win over Navy, despite only scoring 11 points on 3-of-4 shooting, Muscala pulled down 19 rebounds. For the second time this season. The aforementioned amazing stat line, you ask? He did all this in just 25 minutes of action–almost a board per minute.

It’s totally possible that one of the best college players in the state of Pennsylvania doesn’t even play in the Big Ten or Big East.

And the management major has a 3.36 GPA in the classroom.

Muscala will be taking his talents to the next level but first things first–the senior has led the Bison to a 19-4 record, including 6-1 in league play–and hopes to showcase his talents in the NCAA Tournament in March before embarking on his next stop–the NBA. And maybe the rap game.

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