McCollum talks recovery, draft prospects
by Nicole Auerbach, USA TODAY Sports
Speaking publicly for the first time since he broke his foot on Jan. 5, former Lehigh star C.J. McCollum said Friday he has “no regrets” about returning to school for his senior season.
He could have been a potential first-round pick in last June’s NBA draft, but decided to put the pros on hold for one year, play his senior year and get his degree from Lehigh. Despite suffering an injury that ended his collegiate career halfway through the season, McCollum doesn’t view his experience as a negative one.
“It’s definitely a tough experience,” McCollum told reporters on a conference call Friday afternoon. “But I have no regrets that I got to be a part of Lehigh University for four years and get my degree in May.
“It was tough, tough experience, but I learned a lot from it and things have worked out well for me since.”
McCollum fractured the fifth metatarsal in his left foot on what appeared to be a routine drive to the basket during a regular-season game at Virginia Commonwealth on Jan. 5. At the time of the injury, McCollum averaged 23.9 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game this season.
The 6-3 guard underwent surgery a few days after sustaining the injury, and he has spent the past three months rehabilitating. He said Friday his foot feels “really good,” and he personally feels “100% and ready to go.”
McCollum has been able to do some exercises on the court since he got his boot off in mid-March, and he said he started practicing at full-speed last week. Still projected in many mock drafts as a lottery pick, McCollum feels his NBA draft stock has not been hurt by his injury.
“Teams, from what I’ve heard, are pretty positive about me,” McCollum said. “The biggest thing is they just want to see me healthy. I’m healthy. My X-rays are very, very beautiful. I think that’s just the biggest thing; they want to make sure my foot is OK.
“My draft stock is still pretty good right now. It’ll be better when I get back on the court and show teams that … [For more on C.J. McCollum talks recovery, NBA draft prospects, click here.]