HAMDEN, Conn. Quinnipiac University Men's Basketball Head Coach Tom Moore has been named the CollegeInsider.com 2009 Northeast Conference Coach of the Year, the website recently announced. Moore led a Bobcats team that was selected to finished seventh in the NEC Preseason Coaches' Poll to the NEC Tournament Semifinals despite a rash of injuries. The Bobcats finished 15-16 (10-8 NEC) and Moore picked up his 100th career victory.
Moore led three players to All-NEC accolades, including James Feldeine's (New York, N.Y.) selection as the inaugural NEC Most Improved Player. Feldeine was also picked second-team All-NEC after more than doubling his point production from 2007-08 (8.3 ppg.) to 2008-09 (17.0 ppg., 1st-NEC). Justin Rutty (Newburgh, N.Y.) became the first sophomore in the last five years to be named to the All-NEC First Team, compiling a league-high 13 double-doubles. James Johnson (Queens, N.Y.) was selected to the NEC All-Rookie Team after starting all 31 games as a freshman.
Quinnipiac was 2-0 this season in overtime situations, including an 86-78 win against Long Island in the NEC Tournament Quarterfinals, March 5 in Brooklyn, N.Y. In addition to the overtime win, the Bobcats became the only team in the league to beat the Blackbirds on their home court this past season, with a 78-73 win on Feb. 21. Quinnipiac swept the three-game season series against LIU, including a 69-63 win on Jan. 31 in Hamden, which gave Moore 100 victories for his career.
The Bobcats' 15.06 offensive rebounds per game ranked eighth in the nation and first in the NEC. The Bobcats held opponents to 32.1 rebounds per game (2nd-NEC) and finished with a +6.0 rebounding margin (1st-NEC). Rutty finished the year second in the NCAA at 4.6 offensive rebounds per game, trailing only Pittsburgh's DeJuan Blair.
Quinnipiac opened the season with consecutive wins against Hartford and Army, the Bobcats' first 2-0 start in team Division I history. The win in the season opener at Hartford gave Moore a victory in the season's first game for the ninth consecutive year. 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. 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.