Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
What a rotten way to end a brilliant career.
Bucknell won 92 games during Mike Muscala's four years on campus, during which time the star center scored 2,027 points, snagged 1,083 rebounds and won two Patriot League Player of the Year awards.
And then, on arguably the biggest stage of his career, Bucknell's all-time leading scorer does this: nine oints, 4-of-17 shooting, 0 blocks.
Hard to know which part of that which part of that is the opposition's doing and which part is statistical fluke. Watching the game, I can tell you that Muscala had some decent looks that didn't drop. He also struggled to gain deep post position against a team that likes to play rough.
In the end, his glaring offensive ineffectiveness was the obvious talking point in a game where Bucknell hung close through the latter stages of the second half. You kept waiting for Muscala to emerge and tilt the scales. He never did, and the Bison lost.
Muscala's prospects at the next level are a bit hazy.
ESPN's Chad Ford has him as the 55th best prospect in the 2013 class, teetering on the boundary between the late second round and rookie free agency. Draft Express sees him as a potential first rounder.
Of course that was all tabulated before the Butler game, one which seemed to expose Muscala's lack of upper body strength and limited athleticism
Hopefully this wasn't our final impression of Muscala, who can be a wonderfully fluid outside-inside threat when he's playing well. Hopefully he gets a shot to prove himself in the League.
But if he doesn't, and he winds up touring Europe for a decade or so, I suppose there are worse things.
Butler (6) -- 68
Bucknell (11) -- 56