Bobcats Return To Action Wednesday At Lehigh
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team returns to action Wednesday, when it travels to Bethlehem, Pa., to take on Lehigh. The Bobcats and Mountain Hawks renew their series after a one-year break. Quinnipiac has won both of its two meetings all-time against Lehigh, during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons. Quinnipiac is coming off an 85-74 season-opening win against Hartford, while the Mountain Hawks will play their third game in six days. Lehigh fell at Richmond, 65-53, Friday, before an 86-71 defeat, Monday at Rider.
Scouting the Lehigh Mountain Hawks
The Mountain Hawks (0-2) are led by Marquis Hall (13.5 ppg.) and C.J. McCollum (12.5 ppg.), who've each reached double figures in both of Lehigh's games. Gabe Knutson is the Mountain Hawks' rebounding leader at 7.0 boards per game, while Michael Ojo is Lehigh's defensive leader with 2.5 steals per game to go along with 9.0 points per game. In addition to his scoring potency, Hall also leads the Mountain Hawks in assists at 8.0 per game. Lehigh has outrebounded opponents to the tune of 39.5 boards per game and a +1.5 margin.
Last Time Against Lehigh
Ed Zajac exploded for 17 points and 15 rebounds as the Bobcats outlasted Lehigh, 92-88, in double overtime, Nov. 28, 2007. Zajac led six Bobcats in double-figures, including Evann Baker and Casey Cosgrove (16 each), Bryan Geffen and Justin Rutty (12 each) and DeMario Anderson (11). Marquis Hall led Lehigh with 27 points and seven assists.
Last Time Out Against Hartford
James Feldeine scored a game-high 23 points and added five rebounds and five assists to lead four Bobcats in double-figures scoring as Quinnipiac defeated Hartford, 85-74, in the nightcap of the inaugural Connecticut 6 Classic, Friday night in Bridgeport, Conn. Jeremy Baker added 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting, while also adding five boards. James Johnson (15) and Deontay Twyman (12) rounded out the double-figure scorers.
On The Air
Wednesday's game can be heard live on AM 1220 WQUN and www.quinnipiacbobcats.com. Bill Schweizer will have the play-by-play call while Greg Ott will provide color commentary. Lehigh will also provide a free video stream through its athletics website, www.lehighsports.com. To access both live audio and video, please click on the appropriate links on the men's basketball schedule on www.quinnipiacbobcats.com. In addition, Fox College Sports (FCS) Atlantic will re-air the game Friday at 3 p.m.
Shoot Better, Win More
The Bobcats have won 14 consecutive games when outshooting their opponent since the end of the 2007-08 season.
Saying "No" To Joe
The Quinnipiac defense once again clamped down on Hartford's Joe Zeglinski, one of the most potent scorers in the America East Conference. After scoring 12 points in the first half of this year's meeting, aided by a 30-foot desperation heave off glass that fell at the halftime buzzer, the Bobcats didn't allow Zeglinski another point in the second half. The Bobcats held the 2007-08 First-Team All-America East selection to just two points on 1-for-10 shooting on Nov. 14, 2008. Zeglinski's career scoring average was 14.6 points entering the contest. He had reached double-figures in 34 of his prior 37 games. The output tied Zeglinski's career low, set during his freshman season, Feb. 3, 2007, at Boston University.
Moore of the Same
Head Coach Tom Moore has won the season opener in each of his three years at QU, all coming against Hartford. Prior to Moore's arrival to 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 10 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. None of Quinnipiac's other five coaches all-time won their first three season openers, and only Burt Kahn won three straight at any point. Kahn won three straight three times, including six straight from 1967-68 through 1972-73.
Johnson's Elite Company
James Johnson began an impressive streak when he started last season's opener against Hartford. The point guard became just the eighth freshman in QU Division I history to start his collegiate debut. Johnson went on to start all 31 of Quinnipiac's games, joining just 19 other freshmen in the nation to start every game their team played in 2008-09. With the start in this year's season opener, Johnson has stretched the streak to his first 32 games as a Bobcat. Each player to start his first game and complete four years with the Bobcats has scored over 1,000 points. Rob Monroe, Bill Romano and Jared Grasso 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.
QU Picked Second In CT6 Poll
Quinnipiac was picked second in the Preseason Connecticut 6 Coaches' Poll. Fairfield claimed the top spot, while Sacred Heart immediately followed the Bobcats in third. Central Connecticut, Yale and Hartford rounded out the poll.
Rutty Picked To Preseason CT6 Team
Justin Rutty was selected as Quinnipiac's representative on the Preseason Connecticut 6 Team. Joining Rutty were CCSU's Shemik Thompson, Fairfield's Anthony Johnson, Hartford's Joe Zeglinski, Sacred Heart's Corey Hassan and Yale's Alex Zampier.
Bobcats Third In NEC Coaches' Poll
The Northeast Conference's coaches selected the Bobcats to finish tied for third in the league this season. Mount St. Mary's claimed the top spot, followed by Long Island. Robert Morris was selected to tie QU for third, while Central Connecticut ranked fifth. Sacred Heart, St. Francis (N.Y.), Fairleigh Dickinson, Monmouth, Wagner, Bryant and Saint Francis (Pa.) rounded out the poll.
Rutty Recognized Among The Best
Justin Rutty was recognized among the Northeast Conference's best players when the league's coaches named him to the Preseason All-Conference Team. Rutty, who earned All-NEC First Team honors in 2008-09, joined Central Connecticut's Ken Horton, Long Island's Jaytornah Wisseh, Mount St. Mary's Jeremy Goode and Robert Morris' Rob Robinson on the team.
Honored For Improvement
James Feldeine was honored by the NEC's coaches with the inaugural NEC Most Improved Player Award in 2008-09. Feldeine went from a seldom-used freshman (0.6 ppg) to a solid contributor as a sophomore (8.3 ppg) and eventually led the league in scoring (17.0 ppg) as a junior. Feldeine was also named to the All-NEC Second Team.
Rutty Rewarded On First Team
Justin Rutty was named to the All-NEC First Team after leading the league in rebounds (9.8 rpg) and offensive rebounds (4.6). One of the most dominant low post threats in the league, Rutty also averaged 14.8 points per game and compiled a league-best 13 double-doubles. Rutty's selection marked the first time in the last five years that a sophomore earned first-team recognition. The last sophomore to land among the top five players in the league at year's end was Fairleigh Dickinson's Gordon Klaiber in 2003-04.
Bo Knows The All-Rookie Team
James Johnson was named to the NEC All-Rookie Team after averaging 9.8 points, 4.1 assists and 1.5 steals as a freshman. He was the only Bobcat to start all 31 games and compiled a 1.48 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Quinnipiac Head Coach Tom Moore was selected as the collegeinsider.com Northeast Conference Coach of the Year for guiding an injury-riddled Bobcats team to the NEC Tournament Semifinals last season.
O-T is O-K
The Bobcats faced overtime just twice in 2008-09 and won both times. Quinnipiac defeated Army, 66-64, Nov. 17, before outlasting Long Island in the NEC Tournament Quarterfinals, 86-78, March 5.
Bobcats Atop NEC Stats In 08-09
In 2008-09, Bobcats James Feldeine (17.0 ppg) and Justin Rutty (9.8 rpg) led the Northeast Conference in points and rebounds per game, respectively, making the Bobcats the NEC's first team to have the league's leader in both categories since 1994-95, when LIU's Joe Griffin took both crowns. The last time different players from the same team took both the scoring and rebounding titles was the 1986-87 season, when Wagner's Terrance Bailey led the league in scoring average and Largest Agbejemisin paced all rebounders. One team has now had a player or players lead the league in both categories just eight times, including just four times that a different player from the same team has led the league in each category.
Twelve of Fifteen
The Bobcats took 12 of their 15 wins while allowing 69 points or less in 2008-09.
In The Bobcats' Defense...
Quinnipiac ranked first in the NEC in field-goal percentage defense (.407) and third in scoring defense (63.4) in conference games last season.
Feldeine Fillin' It Up
While the Bobcats lost DeMario Anderson to graduation and his personal double-digit points streak ended at an NEC-record 48 games, James Feldeine took over Anderson's role as a consistent double-figure scorer last season. Feldeine reached a 10th point in 30 of the Bobcats' 31 games.
On the Rebound
The Bobcats offensive rebounding prowess (15.06 per game - 1st-NEC, 8th NCAA) resulted in holding opponents to 32.1 rebounds per game (2nd-NEC) and a +6.0 rebounding margin (1st-NEC) in 2008-09.
Fine To Be Feldeine
James Feldeine ranked among the NEC's best in several categories last season. He was first in scoring at 17.0 points per game and 10th in rebounds (6.0). His 4.35 defensive boards per game were ninth and his 74.5 free-throw percentage was 11th. His 1.68 steals per game were sixth and his 2.35 assists per game were 17th.
Regular For Rutty
Justin Rutty shot 60.4 percent (194-for-321) last season (2nd-NEC), besting his NEC-leading 59.0 percent average of a year earlier.
The Bobcats return to action Saturday, when they face local rival Yale. Opening tip from the John J. Lee Amphitheater in New Haven is scheduled for 7 p.m.