The young man talks like an established veteran, hardly displaying the usual excitement of a rookie after a summer league victory. There is polish to C.J. McCollum’s personality, as there is polish to his game. The rookie from Lehigh appears destined for success with the Portland Trail Blazers, spending years preparing for this opportunity.
Mid-major colleges such as Lehigh generally produce scientists and engineers, not NBA prospects. So McCollum has dealt with the label of being a small-school wonder since he began his career with the Mountain Hawks, constantly having to prove he was NBA-caliber.