Bobcats Open NEC Play At Home Saturday Against Mount St.
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team opens Northeast Conference play Saturday when it welcomes Mount St. Mary's to the TD Bank Sports Center at 2 p.m. The Bobcats are coming off a wild 66-64 defeat to Massachusetts on Wednesday, while the Mountaineers knocked off Sacred Heart, 66-52, Thursday night in Fairfield. The Mount owns a 12-10 advantage in the all-time series, including a 61-56 win, Jan. 30, 2010, in Emmitsburg, Md.
Scouting the Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers
The Mount (3-4, 1-0 NEC) is led by Shawn Atupem, whose 12.9 points and 6.0 rebounds per game are both team bests. Lamar Trice has contributed 12.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and a team-best 3.3 assists and 1.1 steals per game. He's also shot a team-high 33.3 percent from long range. Julian Norfleet also averages in double-figures at 10.9 points per game. Raven Barber has shot a team-high 62.2 percent from the floor in averaging 9.6 points to go along with 5.0 rebounds per game. Danny Thompson has blocked 1.3 shots per game. Josh Castellanos has started the last three games for The Mount, and has shot a team-best 86.2 percent from the free-throw line. Three freshmen guards for the Mountaineers - Norfleet, Castellanos and David Golladay - have been thrust into serious minutes (combined 88.3 minutes per game) due to senior lockdown defender Jean Cajou's first-semester withdrawal from school.
Time Out Against Massachusetts
Justin Rutty had a team-high 21 points and 13 rebounds and helped the Bobcats all the way back from down 17 points at the half, before Massachusetts' Anthony Gurley's last-second lay-up was counted due to a Jamee Jackson goal tend at the buzzer. The Minutemen escaped with the 66-64 victory. James Johnson added 11 points, six assists and five rebounds, while Jackson had eight points and eight rebounds. Dominique Langston had six points, seven rebounds and four steals.
Time Against Mount St. Mary's
Despite an 18-point, 15-rebound performance from Justin Rutty, The Mount snapped the Bobcats' eight-game winning streak with a 61-56 victory, Jan. 30, 2010, in Emmitsburg, Md. The Mountaineers held QU leading scorer James Feldeine to just four points. Shawn Atupem led The Mount with 16 points, while Jean Cajou added 11 points and seven rebounds. Deontay Twyman scored 13 for QU.
Follow the Bobcats
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 Bill Mecca and Bob Tipson will provide color commentary. Live video will be available through the Quinnipiac official athletics website, www.quinnipiacbobcats.com, for $9.95, while live stats will also be available free of charge.
Movin' On Up
With 860 rebounds, Justin Rutty ranks fifth all-time at QU and 10th all-time in the Northeast Conference. Rutty passed Al Carfora '80 (846) for fifth on the QU list with eight rebounds against Maine on Nov. 29, while moving past Wagner's Nigel Wyatte (834), LIU's Freddie Burton (836) and Marist's Alan Tomidy (838) on the NEC list with 10 rebounds Nov. 23 at Dartmouth.
Rutty Moves Up QU Career Scoring List
With 1,241 career points, Rutty now ranks 17th on the Quinnipiac career scoring list and fourth on the Quinnipiac Division I scoring list. With 12 points against Maine, Nov. 29, Rutty leapfrogged Troy Adams '89 (1,214).
The Bobcats' defense has been considerably better in the second halves of games this season, especially the last three. Against Dartmouth, Maine and UMass, the opposition shot 45.1 percent (37-82) in the first halves, before Tom Moore's halftime speeches have inspired the Bobcats to hold opponents to 32.1 percent in the latter stanza (26-81). Overall, opponents have shot 44.0 percent (70-159) in the first halves, while being held to 39.0 percent (64-164) in the second halves. The Bobcats have also taken much greater care of the ball in the second halves. Their 1.75 assist-to-turnover ratio in the second halves is strikingly more favorable than their 0.68 assist-to-turnover ratio in first halves. As such, the Bobcats have been narrowly outscored, 196-195, in first halves, while dominating second halves, 238-207.
Owning the Offensive Boards Against UMass
A year after grabbing a program Division I-record 28 offensive rebounds at UMass, Dec. 2, 2009, the Bobcats tied their second-greatest total on the offensive glass with 24 against UMass, Dec. 1, 2010. Quinnipiac also took 24 offensive caroms against Yale, Nov. 16, 2009. Justin Rutty led the way with seven offensive boards in the latest installment against UMass.
A year after finishing second in the nation in rebounding margin at +8.5, the Bobcats enter Saturday's game outrebounding their opponents by 11.5 boards per game, including a +18 figure last time out against a much bigger UMass team.
Johnson's Elite Company
James Johnson's consecutive starts streak now stands at 70 games to begin his career, just one behind Jared Grasso's '02 Quinnipiac record of 71 straight games started from the outset of his Bobcats' career. 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. Each player to start his first game and complete four years at QU has scored over 1,000 points. Rob Monroe, Bill Romano, Justin Rutty and Grasso started their first games and rank first, second, fourth and seventh, on the QU scoring list. The 70-game streak currently ranks tied for third with C.J. Vick '05 among all QU D-I starts streaks, and behind only Grasso (71) and Kason Mims' '04 record 88-game consecutive starts streak (2001-04).
Deontay Twyman leads the Bobcats with 10 steals through six games this season, including three against Hartford.
Three Streak Extended
Deontay Twyman's trifecta with 13 seconds left in regulation against UMass, Dec. 1, the first of the game for QU, extended the Bobcats' streak of making at least one three-pointer in each of the last 290 contests. The streak dates back to Dec. 19, 2000, at Dartmouth (0-11).
The Bobcats began their first five games on a run. They scored the first nine points against Yale, before scoring seven straight against Hartford. QU scored five straight to open against Vermont, before scoring the first four and 15 of the first 17 at Dartmouth. The Bobcats also scored six of the first eight points against Maine.
Rutty Eyes Exclusive 1,000-1,000 Club
Justin Rutty currently stands at 1,241 points and 860 rebounds in his career. With at least 23 more games left in Rutty's career, his career 8.9 rebounds per game average would leave him at 1,064 boards, while his three-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.
Stealin' and Stuffin'
Dominique Langston established an early career high of four steals, including the theft and breakaway dunk that completed the Bobcats' comeback from down 19 against UMass, Dec. 1.
Exclusive Company For Rutty
Justin Rutty connected on his 500th career field goal against Yale, Nov. 13, becoming one of just three Quinnipiac players at the Division I level to achieve the feat. With 10 made field goals, Dec. 1 against UMass, Rutty (528) jumped ahead of Rob Monroe '05 (523), and now trails only at Bill Romano '02 (599).
Up In Here!
Jamee Jackson had three second-half blocks against Maine, each leading to Bobcats offensive production. After his first block just less than two minutes in, James Johnson hit a three on the ensuing possession. Immediately following his block at the 11:53 mark, Dave Johnson nailed one from long range. Finally, following his rejection at the 5:08 mark, James Johnson hit a jumper on the next time down on offense.
Defense Offensive...Then Gets Defensive
After a first half against Maine in which the Bobcats allowed the Black Bears to shoot 52.2 percent (12-23), the Bobcats buckled down in the second half, holding Maine to 25.9 percent (7-27) from the floor.
Lot To Like With Ike
Ike Azotam went 7-for-7 from the floor for 15 points to go along with seven rebounds, Nov. 23, at Dartmouth. The 100 percent performance was the first of five or more attempts for the Bobcats since Karl Anderson went 5-for-5 at Monmouth on Feb. 21, 2008. For his effort, Azotam was named the NEC Co-Rookie of the Week on Nov. 29.
Can Brown Do For Q?
Lance Brown was granted a waiver by the NCAA, Nov. 23, to become immediately eligible for play after transferring from Fordham this past Spring. Brown scored seven points and added four rebounds in 13 minutes in his Bobcats debut at Dartmouth.
Dominique Langston has emerged as a solid contributor off the bench, averaging 13.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game over two games against Hartford and Vermont.
Johnson Steals Milestone
With five steals Nov. 20 against Vermont, James Johnson became the 13th Quinnipiac player all-time and fifth at Division I to compile 100 career steals. Ironically, the five steals tied Johnson's career-high, originally set Dec. 21, 2008, against the same Vermont team on the same Lender Court before a regional television audience on NESN. Johnson now stands at 104 career steals.
James Johnson scored a game-high 23 points Nov. 16 against Hartford. He also grabbed seven rebounds and dished out three assists.
Deontay Twyman tied his career-high with 16 points against Yale at the Connecticut 6 Classic, Nov. 13. James Johnson matched Twyman's 16 points on 5-for-10 shooting and 4-for-4 from the line.
Gabriel's Impressive QU Debut
Mike Gabriel was impressive in his Quinnipiac debut against Yale, Nov. 13, scoring 10 points in just 13 minutes off the bench. He was very efficient, making 3-of-4 field-goal attempts and 4-of-6 free throw attempts.
Dominique Langston made both of his three-point attempts in his collegiate debut against Yale, Nov. 13, to account for his six points.
Moore of the Same
Head Coach Tom Moore has won the season opener in each of his four years at QU, the first three coming against Hartford, while the most recent came this season against Yale. 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 11 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 as many as four straight at any point. Kahn won six straight from 1967-68 through 1972-73.
The Bobcats took a 10-day trip to The Netherlands, Belgium and France this past August. In four games, Quinnipiac went 3-1.
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.
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.
Eight Is Enough
Quinnipiac returns eight players from the 2009-10 squad, and also welcomes eight new players in 2010-11. Five of the eight new players are currently available for play (Azotam, Brown, Gabriel, Harrison, Langston), while Tevin Baskin is slated to be eligible beginning second semester (Dec. 22 at Niagara). Austin Alecxih and Garvey Young must sit the year out due to NCAA transfer rules.
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.
The Bobcats were 11-0 when scoring at least 80 points last season.
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.
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.
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).
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 with 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.
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'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
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 the fourth of five straight home games Tuesday, when they return to non-conference play against defending Patriot League Champion Lehigh. Opening tip from the TD Bank Sports Center is scheduled for 7 p.m.