March 5, 2012 at 6:28 pm #5140
Head coach Jeff Jones, whose Eagles fell to Lehigh in the second round of the Patriot League tournament on Feb. 29, told LehighValleyLive he has been asked by several NBA scouts about McCollum.
“The thing I tell them is there’s no question in my mind when he finishes his career here at Lehigh, he will go to the NBA and help some team win. He can and absolutely will play at that level when the time comes.”
Jones added, “There’s not a whole lot of players better than him in the country. He’s not a very good Patriot League player, he’s a very good player, period.”
Jones played with and coached a fair number of NBA players at Virginia. So, I have to trust his take on the matter. I’m pretty surprised with all of the NBA talk surrounding McCollum. I had always assumed he would head off to Europe after his career ended, and have a long and lucrative career. Similar to the other greats that played at Lehigh. But, now I am starting to really wonder, can this kid play in the NBA? I don’t really see a natural position for him at the next level. He seems too small and slight to play the 2 and not quick enough or a good enough handle to play the 1. But, obviously, with the NBA interest, and these sorts of comments, there may be a spot for him. If the NBA folks tell him he is going to be drafted in the first round, he may have to turn pro. Obviously, if he is projected as a second, he should stay in, but if they say first round, I can’t see staying for a 4th year really helping him. It is not as if he is going to move into the lottery or something if he stays. Also, he might hurt himself with a down senior season, or God forbid injury. Never thought I would see an NBA player from Lehigh.March 5, 2012 at 6:32 pm #5142
Read it. That and post game on CBS lauding CJ’s NBA skills would seem to indicate that CJhas a serious decision to make post season. personally dont think he should go ( not totally for selfish reasons), but likely he willMarch 5, 2012 at 8:20 pm #5144
Maybe the AU coach is talking him up so he does not have to defend against him next year,March 5, 2012 at 8:22 pm #5145
LOL love your logic vanMarch 5, 2012 at 9:03 pm #5147
The Express Times game recap above. Read down to the last quote from CJ regarding 2,000 points. He said: “…I’d still be happy if I could win four championships.” Obviously at this point, the most he could win is 3, but you get the point. He wouldn’t just come out and say he is leaving anyway right now, but I like hearing that from him pretty much unprompted.
Personally, I’d be surprised he would be higher than 2nd round, at best, this year so I would not expect him to leave. Spoke briefly to one of the scouts at the game Saturday (who also saw him in person earlier this year OOC) and he emphasized CJ was ‘efficient’. His numbers are great, but I think there is certainly room for more efficiency offensively in his game (i.e. 3 pt%, his games vs. BCS teams and Bucknell-Cohen). 10-16 Saturday from the field was one of his better games this year in terms of % and I think NBA teams would be looking for that to be improved. So I think he tests the waters, but returns for his senior year.March 5, 2012 at 11:29 pm #5148
I do believe CJ and his family know full well the importance of the education he is receiving at Lehigh University. Couple that knowledge and understanding with what I see as both a need to increase shooting accuracy and further build his body into one ready face the rigors of NBA play and you have CJ wearing the Brown and White for another year. Please say it is so.March 6, 2012 at 4:56 am #5158
I hope CJ makes a good decision for himself. Has he not made reference to wanting to take care of his mother? Lumpkins from AU left early, but he made sure his last year of college was paid for. While it will be sad to see him go, I understand him wanting to do what is best.
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