Men's Basketball Opens NEC Play Saturday Against Monmouth

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (3-3) vs.

Monmouth University Hawks (1-7)

Monday, Dec. 6, 2008 – 2 p.m.

TD Banknorth Sports Center – Hamden, Conn.

Conference Play Commences

The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team begins conference play with a Saturday afternoon tilt against Monmouth. The Bobcats are coming off a 74-58 defeat Monday against Binghamton. The Hawks are 1-7 this year, having beaten NJIT two games ago and falling to Seton Hall Tuesday. Monmouth owns the all-time series lead, 11-8, while the Bobcats have won the last three meetings.

Scouting the Monmouth Hawks

Two-time NEC Rookie of the Week Travis Taylor leads a young Monmouth attack at 11.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard R.J. Rutledge (10.1) and freshman forward Mike Myers Keitt (10.0) also check in with double-figure scoring averages. The Hawks have been playing without the services of point guard James Hett (ankle) for the last three games and last year's leading scorer, Whitney Coleman, who sustained a season-ending knee injury.

On The Air

Saturday's game can be seen live on Bobcat Channel, Quinnipiac's online on-demand video source, as well as heard on the Bobcats Radio Network. Bill Schweizer will have the play-by-play call with Bill Mecca on color.

Last Time Against Monmouth

Bryan Geffen hit a deep three-point field goal with 2.6 seconds remaining to give the Bobcats a 62-60 victory, Feb. 21 at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. The Bobcats played the game without First-Team All-NEC guard DeMario Anderson, who left the team to attend his grandfather's funeral. In his place, Karl Anderson, Evann Baker and Justin Rutty scored 11 points each to pace the Bobcats. Hett scored a game-high 19 points, while Alex Nunner and Yaniv Simpson contributed 14 each.

Last Time Out Against Binghamton

James Feldeine and Justin Rutty scored 15 points each, but the Bobcats fell to Binghamton, 74-58, Monday night in Hamden. James Johnson had seven first-half assists to propel QU to a one-point lead at the half. But he picked up his third foul late in the first half and his fourth foul early in the second. The offense stalled without him as the Bearcats outscored the Bobcats, 45-28, in the final stanza.

Floor General Johnson

James Johnson has taken control of the point guard position in just his freshman season. After posting modest statistics while playing a key role in Quinnipiac's 2-0 start, Johnson has scored in double figures in three straight games. In his last four games, he's averaged 11.5 points, 5.3 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals, while shooting 40.0 percent (16-40) from the floor, 50.0 percent (5-10) from three-point range and 75.0 percent (9-12) from the free-throw line. He's started his first six collegiate games, becoming just the fifth Quinnipiac player to do so at the Division I level.

Three Reasons To Love Thirty

With 30 points against Maine on Nov. 25, Justin Rutty joined former Bobcat Jared Grasso ‘02 as the only Quinnipiac sophomores to score 30 points in a single game at the Division I level. Rutty accomplished the feat in his 33rd game as at QU, one fewer contest than Grasso's 32-point effort against Dartmouth, Dec. 11, 1999, his 34th at Quinnipiac. Rutty joined Rob Monroe ‘05 in scoring 30 points at the earliest juncture of the season. Monroe twice scored over 30 points in the fifth game of the season (32 at Cornell, Dec. 1, 2004; 36 at Hawaii-Hilo, Nov. 30, 2003). Rutty's achievement came on the earliest calendar date of any 30-point scorer in Quinnipiac's D-I history.

On the Rebound

The Bobcats offensive rebounding prowess has resulted in holding opponents to 32.3 rebounds per game (2nd-NEC) and +5.5 rebounding margin (1st-NEC).

Fine To Be Feldeine

James Feldeine currently ranks among the Northeast Conference's best in several categories. He's sixth in scoring at 16.0 points per game and 12th in rebounds (6.5) and 15th in three-point field-goal percentage (.391). His 4.7 defensive rebounds per game rank 10th and .459 field-goal percentage are 13th. Feldeine's 1.6 three-pointers per game rank 15th.

Regular For Rutty

Justin Rutty has shot 68.5 percent (37-for-54) this season (1st-NEC), besting his Northeast Conference leading 59.0 percent average of a year ago.

Welcome To The Family

Quinnipiac Men's Basketball Head Coach Tom Moore secured written commitments from a pair of student-athletes for the 2009-10 academic year during the early signing period. Jamee Jackson (North Providence, R.I.) is a 6-8 forward who plays for St. Anthony's (N.J.), the top-ranked high-school team in the country last season. Dave Johnson (Holwell, N.J.) is a 5-9 guard who plays for regional power St. Mark's (Mass.). ESPN.com ranked Jackson the No. 79 power forward recruit in this year's class, while Johnson was rated the 58th-best point guard prospect.

Five In Double Figures

The Bobcats had five players in double figures, Nov. 21, against UMBC. James Johnson led the way with 17 points as five Quinnipiac players reached a second digit for the first time since Jan. 10, 2008 against Mount St. Mary's. Also scoring in double-figures on the latest occasion were Jeremy Baker (12), Bryan Geffen (12), James Feldeine (10) and Justin Rutty (12).

Feldeine's Fantastic Flurry

James Feldeine entered the Nov. 17 game against Army at the 15:58 mark of the first half and wasted little time making his presence felt. Feldeine nailed his first of four consecutive three-pointers just three seconds after entering the game. By the 10-minute mark, the junior had connected on all four of his three-point field-goal attempts.

Near-Flawless Debut

Jeremy Baker scored 18 points on 8-of-11 field goals, grabbed eight rebounds, dished out two assists, blocked a shot and made a steal in his Quinnipiac debut, Nov. 17 against Army. The transfer from Garden City (Kansas) Community College missed just once from inside the three-point arc and made both his free throws. For good measure, he hit the game-winning shot on a putback with two seconds remaining in overtime.

Historic Start

With two consecutive wins to begin the season, the Bobcats were 2-0 for the first time in program Division I history.

Double-Double Deja Vu

With 18 points and 10 rebounds Nov. 14 at Hartford, James Feldeine became the first Quinnipiac player in the school's Division I history to compile a double-double in consecutive season openers. Feldeine burned the Hawks for 19 points and 10 rebounds in last season's first game. C.J. Vick ‘05 previously came closest to the feat. Vick fell a rebound short of a double-double in the 2002-03 opener at UConn prior to an 11-point, 10-rebound performance in the first game of the 2003-04 season against Montana State.

Speaking of Double-Doubles...

On Nov. 14, Feldeine and Rutty became the first Bobcats teammates to compile double-doubles in the same game since Chris Wehye and Karl Anderson both reached double-figures in points and rebounds, Nov. 15, 2006, against Division II Concordia (N.Y.).

Johnson Joins Elite Company

James Johnson became just the eighth freshman in Quinnipiac Division I history to start his collegiate debut. Every player to start his first game and complete four years with the Bobcats has scored over 1,000 points. Rob Monroe ‘05, Bill Romano ‘02 and Jared Grasso ‘02 started their first games and rank first, second and fifth, respectively, on the Bobcats D-I scoring list. Johnson joined teammates Justin Rutty and Evann Baker as current players who started their debuts, while Job Casimir and Casey Cosgrove were in the starting line-up for their initial contests, but transferred prior to completion of four seasons in Hamden.

Saying "No" To Joe

The Quinnipiac defense clamped down on one of the most potent scorers in the America East, Nov. 14, at Hartford. The Bobcats held the Hawks' Joe Zeglinski, a First-Team All-Conference selection in 2007-08, to just two points on 1-for-10 shooting. Zeglinski, whose career scoring average was 14.6 points entering the contest, reached double-figures in 34 of his previous 37 games. The two points tied Zeglinski's career low, a mark set during his freshman season, Feb. 3, 2007, at Boston University.

Moore of the Same

Head Coach Tom Moore won his season opener for the second time in as many chances at QU. Prior to Moore's arrival in Hamden, no Quinnipiac team had won its first game of the season during the school's Division I era. Teams that have had Moore serving on the coaching staff have won nine consecutive season openers. The last time one of Moore's teams didn't win its first game was Nov. 11, 1999, when defending National Champion and top-ranked UConn was upset by Iowa in the Coaches vs. Cancer IKON Classic.

Sweet Lou

Louis Brookins scored an entirely efficient eight points on 3-for-3 shooting from the field and added seven rebounds in the season opener against Hartford.

Who's In

In addition to transfers Jeremy Baker, Jonathan Cruz and Sean Light, Head Coach Tom Moore added three talented incoming freshmen to comprise his first full recruiting class. DeAndre' Bynum, Eric Coggins and James Johnson join the team as freshmen. Bynum, a 6-6 guard from Memphis, Tenn., was ranked as highly as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com. Coggins and Johnson are regarded as two-star recruits. Coggins is a 6-9 forward while Johnson is a 6-foot guard. Baker, the brother of Quinnipiac sophomore guard Evann Baker, and Cruz, practiced with the Bobcats, but could not play in 2007-08 due to NCAA transfer regulations.

Who's Moved On

Gone is the Northeast Conference's leading scorer, All-NEC First Team pick DeMario Anderson. Joining him in graduating were Karl Anderson and Andrew Cashin. Guard Casey Cosgrove has transferred to play for his father, Jamie, head coach at Adelphi University.

Moore Wins

In his first season at the helm, Moore delivered the Bobcats' first non-losing season since 2002-03 with a 15-15 finish, including an 11-7 mark in the NEC. Moore became the first Bobcats head coach since Burt Kahn to begin his tenure with a non-losing season. The 15 wins are third-most in program Division I history, while the 11 conference victories are tied for second.

Return to the Top

At 11-7, Quinnipiac finished in the top half of the NEC for the second consecutive season last year. The Bobcats finished tied for fourth in the conference.

Fine as a Freshman

Evann Baker is the Bobcats' top returning scorer at 10.9 points per game. Baker shot 45 percent from the floor last season, including a 53.3 percent clip from beyond the three-point arc, which earned the Washington, D.C., native a spot on the NEC All-Rookie Team.

Tickling the Twine

Justin Rutty returns after leading the NEC in field-goal percentage last season, connecting at a 59-percent clip. Rutty obliterated the competition, with the next-highest field-goal percentage posted by an NEC player coming in at 55.8 percent.

Straight Shooters

Quinnipiac finished first in the NEC in both field-goal percentage and three-point field-goal percentage in 2007-08. The Bobcats connected from the floor at a 46.1 percent clip while knocking down 39.2 percent from beyond the three-point arc. Returning for the Bobcats are their leaders from the floor (Justin Rutty, .590) and from long range (Evann Baker, .533).

Three-for-One Deal

The Bobcats face opponents from three different conferences on their non-conference schedule. Quinnipiac plays Binghamton, Hartford, Maine, Maryland-Baltimore County and Vermont, all from the America East Conference. Brown, Cornell and Dartmouth from the Ivy League line up on Quinnipiac's schedule, while there's a possibility of also taking on Columbia in the Tyler Ugolyn Columbia Classic. Finally, Army represents the Patriot League on the Bobcats' docket.

On Deck

The Bobcats continue Northeast Conference play with a road match-up, Dec. 13, against Wagner. Opening tip is scheduled for 7 p.m.