Bobcats Open 2010-11 Against Local Rival Yale At
Connecticut 6 Classic
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team opens the 2010-11 campaign against local rival Yale at the second annual Connecticut 6 Classic, being played this year at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The Bobcats are coming off unprecedented success in 2009-10, having won a program-record 23 games, including a 71-64 at Yale on Nov. 21. The Bulldogs were 12-19 in 2009-10, including a 6-8 mark in the Ivy League. The Bobcats and Bulldogs have met twice, with the Bobcats winning both games.
Scouting the Yale Bulldogs
Yale faces the daunting task of replacing more than half its scoring in 2010-11, as it loses starters Alex Zampier (17.4 ppg), Jordan Gibson (7.8 ppg.) and Paul Nelson (6.2 ppg), as well as reserve Josh Davis (2.2 ppg). The group also collectively averaged 15.9 of the Bulldogs' 35.0 rebounds per game. Back to fill the void is senior captain Michael Sands, who is Yale's top returning scorer (10.8 ppg) and rebounder (6.1 rpg). Porter Braswell also returns from the starting line-up after averaging 6.0 points and 2.5 rebounds. Greg Mangano saw most of his time off the bench, but will likely see an increased role as a junior after posting 7.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in 2009-10.
Time Against Yale
Justin Rutty had 23 points and 14 rebounds, 10 on the offensive glass, as the Bobcats defeated Yale, 71-64, Nov. 21, 2009, at the John J. Lee Amphitheater. Jamee Jackson also added 10 rebounds as the Bobcats outrebounded Yale, 53-30. James Feldeine added 14 points and James Johnson had 13 points for QU. Alex Zampier kept Yale close with 29 points. Michael Sands was next in line with 10 points.
Saturday's game can be heard live on AM 1220 WQUN and www.quinnipiacbobcats.com. Bob Mortali will have the play-by-play call, while Bob Tipson will provide color commentary.
The Northeast Conference's coaches selected the Bobcats as the league's first unanimous favorite since 1997-98 (Long Island). In addition, The Sporting News, Athlon, Lindy's and the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Report also picked the Bobcats as the NEC favorite.
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.
Picked Second In CT6 Poll
Quinnipiac was picked second in the Preseason Connecticut 6 Coaches' Poll. Fairfield claimed the top spot, while Central Connecticut immediately followed the Bobcats in third. Sacred Heart, Yale and Hartford rounded out the poll.
The Bobcats took a 10-day trip to The Netherlands, Belgium and France this past August. In four games, Quinnipiac went 3-1.
Eight Is Enough
Quinnipiac returns eight players from the 2009-10 squad, and also welcomes eight new players in 2010-11. Only four of the eight new players will be available for play immediately (Azotam, Gabriel, Harrison, Langston), while Tevin Baskin is slated to be eligible beginning second semester (Dec. 22 at Niagara). Austin Alecxih, Lance Brown and Garvey Young each must sit the year out due to NCAA transfer rules.
Bobcats Experience Historic 2009-10 Season
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team experienced a historic season of firsts in 2009-10. Jim Phelan NEC Coach of the Year Tom Moore led the Bobcats to a program-record 23 wins, the first Northeast Conference Regular Season Championship in team history, and a berth into the National Invitation Tournament, the first national postseason tournament appearance in program Division I history. Junior forward Justin Rutty was named the NEC Player of the Year, becoming the first player in program history earn the award. Both Rutty and senior wing James Feldeine were named to the All-NEC First Team Moore's recognition as Coach of the Year was also a first in program history.
With 23 wins in 2009-10, including 15 NEC victories, the Bobcats set a new program record. The marks edge the 1999-2000 QU team (18-10, 12-6 NEC) for the most wins at D-I, and passed the 1972-73 and 1979-80 teams for the all-time program record.
Movin' On Up
With 798 rebounds, Justin Rutty ranks eighth all-time at QU and 15th all-time in the Northeast Conference.
Keeping Good Company
Quinnipiac was one of just four teams in the NCAA ranked in the top 10 nationally in both rebound margin and rebounds per game in 2009-10. The Bobcats ranked second in rebound margin and 10th in rebounds per game. Quinnipiac joined nationally-ranked Kentucky (4th - rebound margin, 5th - rebounds per game) and Kansas (9th - rebound margin, 7th - rebounds per game), as well as Radford (7th - rebound margin, 1st - rebounds per game) in the exclusive club. Quinnipiac also ranked 14th in offensive rebounds (14.61).
Rutty Scores 1,000th Career Point
Justin Rutty became the 34th player in Quinnipiac history and the eighth in program Division I history to score 1,000 career points, Feb. 11, 2010, against St. Francis (N.Y.). He's also on pace to challenge for 1,000 career rebounds. With at least 29 more games left in Rutty's career, his career 8.8 rebounds per game average would leave him at 1,052 boards, while his two-year average of 10.38 boards per game would put him at 1,099 rebounds. Just two prior Quinnipiac players have reached both 1,000 points and rebounds. With 1,158 career points, Rutty now ranks 23rd on the Quinnipiac career scoring list and fifth on the Quinnipiac Division I scoring list.
State of Mind
Quinnipiac was 18-1 in games played in Connecticut, including a 14-1 mark at home in 2009-10. In starting 14-0 at home, the Bobcats established the best start at home in program history.
Johnson's Elite Company
James Johnson's consecutive starts streak reached 64 games to begin his career through the 2009-10 season. Johnson became just the eighth freshman in QU Division I history to start his collegiate debut, and started all 31 of Quinnipiac's games in 2008-09, joining just 19 other freshmen in the nation to start every game their team played. Having started every game as a sophomore, Johnson's streak reached 64 games. Each player to start his first game and complete four years at QU has scored over 1,000 points. Rob Monroe, Bill Romano and Jared Grasso started their first games and rank first, second and seventh, on the Bobcats scoring list. The 64-game streak currently ranks second in program history to begin a career and fourth among all QU D-I starts streaks.
Twelve In Fourteen
Justin Rutty compiled his Quinnipiac Division I record 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th career double-doubles in seven consecutive games, Feb. 18-Mar. 10, 2010, and had 12 double-doubles in his last 15 games of the season. Rutty began the streak five straight double-doubles, Jan. 24-Feb. 6. After a two-game stretch when he missed a double-double by two rebounds against St. Francis (N.Y.) and two points against LIU, Rutty reeled off seven more consecutive double-doubles.
The Bobcats were 11-0 when scoring at least 80 points last season.
It's Free, It's For Me
The Bobcats enjoyed marked improvement from the free-throw line in the latter portion of the 2009-10 season. After seeing its season free-throw percentage dip to 65.1 percent through 15 games, QU shot 76.7 percent (358-467) over the last 18 games to raise its free-throw percentage to 72.1 percent.
Rutty Grabs Quinnipiac DI Rebound Record
With 11 rebounds against Wagner on Jan. 9, Justin Rutty took over the Quinnipiac Division I Rebound lead from Bill Romano '02 (580). Rutty currently has 798 career rebounds while in just his junior season, and moved into 15th all-time in the NEC.
Rutty's Keeping Good Company
At 15.3 points and 10.9 rebounds per game, Justin Rutty was one of just 20 players nationally to average a double-double in 2009-10.
Rutty Finds Free-Throw Stroke
Justin Rutty, a career 50.0 percent free-throw shooter, shot 79.4 percent (54-68) from the charity stripe in the last 14 games of the 2009-10 season. Included in the mark were two separate strings of at least 11 consecutive successful attempts. Rutty went 6-for-6 at Sacred Heart, the first 100 percent game of more than three attempts in his career. He followed with a 4-for-4 effort against SHU, and an 8-for-8 performance at Saint Francis (Pa.).
Bobcats, Rutty On NCAA Rebound Charts
Led by Justin Rutty's 10.9 rebounds per game (8th-NCAA), the Bobcats ranked 10th in the nation in rebounds per game (40.4 rpg.).
At First You Don't Succeed...
41.2 percent of the Bobcats' rebounds in 2009-10 came on the offensive end, fourth-most in the NCAA.
Quinnipiac was outrebounded just three times in 2009-10, and owned a +8.5 rebounding margin, second-best in the nation.
Quinnipiac, Rutty Grab Top Rankings
The Bobcats ranked 14th in the nation in offensive rebounds per game (14.6) in 2009-10. Individually, Justin Rutty ranked second nationally at 4.9 offensive boards per game, a year after finishing second in the nation behind only Pittsburgh's DeJuan Blair (5.6 oreb/game) with 4.6 offensive caroms per game.
Sitting on Top of the NEC Stats
Quinnipiac ranked in the top three in the NEC in 12 of 19 statistical categories in 2009-10. The Bobcats were first in scoring offense (73.2), scoring margin (+6.7), field-goal percentage (.448), assist-to-turnover ratio (0.98), rebounding offense (40.4), rebounding defense (31.9), rebound margin (+8.5), offensive rebounding (14.61) and defensive rebounding (25.79). QU ranked second in assists (13.42) and free-throw percentage (.721) and third in field-goal percentage defense (.415).
The Bobcats play host to Hartford in their home opener, Tuesday, Nov. 16. Opening tip at the TD Bank Sports Center is scheduled for 7 p.m.