Men's Basketball Named Unanimous 2010-11 NEC FavoriteHAMDEN, Conn. - The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team has been selected as the unanimous favorite to win the Northeast Conference by the league's coaches, the conference office today announced on its annual preseason media teleconference. All 11 other coaches in the league picked the Bobcats as the favorite, making Quinnipiac the first unanimous pick since Long Island in 1997-98. Quinnipiac Head Coach Tom Moore's vote went to Long Island, as coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team. In addition, 2009-10 Northeast Conference Player of the Year Justin Rutty (Newburgh, N.Y.) was selected to the Preseason All-NEC Team.
Rutty returns as the league's top player after averaging 15.3 points and a league-best 10.9 rebounds per game. Included in his rebound total were 4.9 offensive rebounds per game, which ranked Rutty second in the nation in offensive rebounding for the second consecutive year. Rutty is the only player in Quinnipiac history to be named NEC Player of the Year.
Defending NEC Tournament Champion Robert Morris was picked to finish second, while Long Island took the third spot with one first-place vote. Central Connecticut followed in fifth, while Mount St. Mary's was slotted fifth. Fairleigh Dickinson was the coaches' sixth pick, while the St. Francis schools, both of New York and Pennsylvania, were slated to tie for seventh.
Sacred Heart followed in ninth, while Monmouth, Wagner and Bryant rounded out the poll.
The Bobcats open the 2010-11 season when they play Yale, Nov. 13, as part of the second annual Connecticut 6 Classic to be played at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.