November 29, 2009

Men's Basketball Meets Navy For First Time Monday

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (3-1) at
United States Naval Academy Midshipmen (2-4)
Monday, Nov. 30, 2009 - 7 p.m.
Alumni Hall - Annapolis, Md.

Bobcats Clash With Navy For First Time Monday
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team returns to action Monday, when it travels to Annapolis, Maryland, to take on the United States Naval Academy. The Bobcats are coming off a 59-46 victory at Maine on Tuesday, when James Johnson scored 16 points and Jeremy Baker compiled his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Navy fell in overtime to NEC preseason favorite Mount St. Mary's, 65-56, on Saturday. Monday's game signifies the first-ever meeting between Navy and Quinnipiac in men's basketball.

Scouting the Navy Midshipmen
The Midshipmen (2-4) are led by Chris Harris, whose 20.0 points per game leads Navy. He's also averaged a team-high 1.7 steals per game. When Harris has scored 20 points or more, Navy has won. When he's been held to less than 20, Navy has lost. Jordan Sugars is a powerful guard with a nice shooting touch, averaging 14.7 points and a team-high 8.3 rebounds while shooting 51.5 percent (17-33) from long range. O.J. Avworo has proven to be a capable point guard at 5.0 assists per game.

Last Time Against Navy
The Bobcats and Midshipmen have never met.

Last Time Out Against Maine
James Johnson hit a career-high four three-pointers in six attempts as part of a 16-point performance as the Bobcats defeated Maine, 59-46, in Orono, Maine. Jeremy Baker added his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Justin Rutty added 14 points.

On The Air
Monday's game can be heard live on AM 1220 WQUN and www.quinnipiacbobcats.com. Bill Schweizer will have the play-by-play call while Bill Mecca will provide color commentary. Navy will also provide a live video stream through its athletics website, www.navysports.com. The cost of the live video webcast is $9.95. Navy's athletics website will also provide live stats at no cost. To access live audio, video and stats, please click on the appropriate links on the men's basketball schedule on www.quinnipiacbobcats.com.

Getting Defensive
The Bobcats held Maine to just 30.6 percent (19-62) shooting on Nov. 24, including just 25.9 percent (7-27) in the second half. The Black Bears converted just two of 16 three-point attempts (12.5 percent).

Bo Knows Offense
James Johnson scored 16 points, including 4-for-6 shooting from long range, at Maine. The output was just one point off his previous career high of 17 points, scored twice last season. After averaging 9.8 points in garnering NEC All-Rookie Team honors as a freshman in 2008-09, Johnson is the only Bobcat to score in double figures in each of QU's four games this year.

Bo Knows Defense
James Johnson has drawn the opponent's greatest scoring threat in each of this season's games, having success on each occasion. He held two of the top scoring threats in the America East Conference in Hartford's Joe Zeglinski and Maine's Gerald McLemore scoreless in the second half of both games. Meanwhile, Lehigh's Marquis Hall scored just nine points against Johnson. Only Yale's Alex Zampier had a strong statistical performance against Johnson with 29 points. However, Quinnipiac Head Coach lauded both Johnson's defense in the game, as the latter forced Zampier to convert on several low-percentage shots.

On the Rebound
Quinnipiac has outrebounded each of its opponents this season, and owns a +9.0 rebounding margin.

Shoot Better, Win More
The Bobcats have won 15 consecutive games when outshooting their opponent since the end of the 2007-08 season.

Rutty Named NEC, CT 6 Player of the Week
For his average of 21.0 points and 11.0 rebounds in the Bobcats' 1-1 week, Justin Rutty was named both the Choice Hotels NEC Player of the Week and the Connecticut 6 Player of the Week. Rutty scored 19 points and added eight rebounds in a loss at Lehigh, before exploding for 23 points and 14 rebounds, 10 on the offensive glass, at Yale.

Downright Offensive
Justin Rutty scored 23 points and grabbed 10 of his 14 rebounds on the offensive glass in the Bobcats' Nov. 21 victory over local rival Yale. Rutty, the nation's top returning offensive rebounder from a year ago, averaged 4.6 offensive rebounds per game. That figure was bested only by current San Antonio Spurs forward DeJuan Blair, who averaged 5.6 offensive rebounds per game last season at Pittsburgh.

Rebounding First
Led by Justin Rutty's 10 offensive rebounds, the Bobcats grabbed 24 offensive rebounds at Yale, the most by a Quinnipiac team since the school entered Division I play in 1998-99. Jamee Jackson added four offensive boards and James Johnson also had three. In total, seven QU players had at least one offensive rebound.

Clutch Free-Throw Shooting
With Yale closing in quickly on Quinnipiac's lead down the stretch on Nov. 21 in New Haven, James Johnson and James Feldeine stepped to the charity stripe and combined to go 10-for-10 in the final minute and a half of play.

Feldeine Gets Fifth
James Feldeine compiled his fifth career double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds at Lehigh, Nov. 18. In addition to the Lehigh game, he had one double-double in 2007-08 and three in 2008-09.

Rutty Rebounds Against Lehigh
Justin Rutty bounced back from a foul-plagued, five-point, five-rebound performance against Hartford to score 19 points on 9-12 shooting and add eight rebounds at Lehigh.

Early Impressions
The Bobcats have gotten strong contributions from a trio of its first-year players. Junior transfer Deontay Twyman scored 12 points in his Quinnipiac debut against Hartford. After playing solid defense with two blocks in his Bobcats debut, freshman Jamee Jackson went for nine points and seven rebounds at Lehigh and grabbed 10 rebounds at Yale. Finally, Dave Johnson has shown the ability to spell James Johnson at point guard without Quinnipiac missing a beat.

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 each of this season's contests, Johnson has stretched the streak to his first 35 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.

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.

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.

Moore Awards
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.

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.

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.

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)(2nd-NEC) last season, besting his NEC-leading 59.0 percent average of a year earlier.

On Deck
The Bobcats return to action Wednesday, when they travel to Amherst, Mass., to face the University of Massachusetts. Opening tip from the Mullins Center is scheduled for 7 p.m.