Men's Basketball Takes Top NEC Yearly AwardsHAMDEN, Conn. - Quinnipiac University junior men's basketball forward Justin Rutty (Newburgh, N.Y.) was named the 2009-10 Northeast Conference Player of the Year and Head Coach Tom Moore was picked as the Jim Phelan NEC Coach of the Year, the league office announced this morning on the annual pre-tournament media teleconference. Rutty and senior wing James Feldeine (New York, N.Y.) were also selected to the All-NEC First Team. This is Rutty's second first-team selection, while Feldeine joins him among the league's top five players after earning second-team recognition last season.
Rutty averaged 15.0 points (8th-NEC) and a league-best 10.8 rebounds per game, while shooting 53.9 percent from the floor (3rd-NEC) in his junior season. He compiled a league-best 14 double-doubles, while grabbing 4.9 offensive rebounds per game, second-most in the nation. Rutty scored his 1,000th point in just his junior season, and currently stands 19th all-time on the NEC's career rebound list with 762 boards. Rutty's effort on the boards has led the Bobcats to the nation's second-best rebounding margin (+9.6), behind only nationally-ranked No. 3 Kentucky.
"Justin's been immense. When you get a kid, at this level, who is vastly different than the type of players who come through at his position, I think it stands out even more. Justin's combination of size and strength and a nose for the ball, and desire to go get the ball makes it stand out even more. You don't find that package too often at this level in a five man. He's someone who the other coaches have to game plan for and he probably takes up a lot of attention in scouting reports. I know his presence has really made life easier on a lot of our perimeter guys throughout the season. Justin's effect on our program is wide-ranging and immense on pretty much every level."
Moore has led the Bobcats to their most successful season as a Division I program. The Bobcats won a program Division I record 21 games and earned a share of their first Northeast Conference Regular Season Championship. The 21 wins tie for second-most all-time at Quinnipiac, just one win shy of the program record. The Bobcats stand as one of just 11 Division I teams currently undefeated at home, going 12-0 at the TD Bank Sports Center, as well as 16-0 in the state of Connecticut.
"It's an honor and a privilege to receive the Jim Phelan NEC Coach of the Year Award," said Moore. "In order to win an award such as this, you need a great staff and a great administration. The hard work and dedication of Sean Doherty, Eric Eaton, Scott Burrell and Jon Iati have truly made this a staff award, more than an individual award. President John Lahey and our athletic director, Jack McDonald, provide us with everything we need to be successful."
Feldeine was the Bobcats' leading scorer for the second consecutive season at 17.3 points per game, good for fourth in the league. He led the NEC in 20-point performances with 13, while also finishing sixth in free-throw percentage (.808), seventh in steals (1.48 spg.), eighth in the league in rebounding (6.0 rpg.) and 13th in field-goal percentage (.433). With 19 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, Feb. 25 against Monmouth, Feldeine became one of just nine players in NCAA Division I to compile a triple-double this season.
"I think James has played a very important role for us in the last two years and done it terrifically as our number-one scoring option on the perimeter. That job is one that a lot of kids want, but very few can handle. He's handled it extremely well over the last two years. He's a confident, aggressive scorer who can make threes, score in the mid-range and get all the way to the basket. The improvement he's made in his game over the three years I've been with him has been phenomenal. It's a tribute to his work ethic and character."