Canton GlenOak’s CJ McCollum is the face of all things March Madness following Lehigh’s upset of Duke earlier this weekend. Now garnering national attention, McCollum — he of the top-five in NCAA Division I scoring — has turned the tables in a recent discussion about the local Ohio schools that chose a different path when it came to handing out scholarship offers.
It’s not about McCollum, who went to GlenOak High in Plain Township, Ohio, being snubbed by the local Big Ten bullies, either. It’s about not being good enough for the MAC.
Akron was interested.
“They obviously only had one scholarship offer. They gave it to [7-foot center] Zeke Marshall,” McCollum said.
Fun stat: Marshall averaged 10.4 points per game this season.
Kent State gave him a look.
“But they offered it to [guard] Randal Holt.”
Fun stat: Holt averaged 12.7 points per game this season.
Miami (Ohio) recruited him a bit.
“But they didn’t offer me.”
Really fun stat: The RedHawks finished 9-21 this season.
So, McCollum settled for Lehigh and the Patriot League. Think the MAC schools might regret that one?
Obviously a scorer, the Lehigh standout is a shooting guard in a point guard’s body. McCollum admits that he was undersized and “a bit chubby” in high school and throughout the AAU circuit, but the 6-foot-3-inch guard has since had a bit of a growth spurt.
Two seasons ago, McCollum put up a Herculean effort in a NCAA Tournament loss to Kansas. This time around, his efforts bared fruit as he is a Sunday win away from the Sweet 16 — just not for a representative from the MAC.