Northeast Conference (23-9, 15-3)
Big Wins: 11/24 at Maine (59-46), 1/7 Mt. St. Mary’s (64-63), 2/20 at Robert Morris (87-79)
Bad Losses: 11/30 at Navy (62-65), 1/2 at Monmouth (60-72), 2/18 at St. Francis PA (68-73)
Coach: Tom Moore
Why They Can Surprise:
Nobody who is in Quinnipiac’s regular rotation is over 6-7. Thus, one would assume that this is another mid-major level team that gets beat on the glass all the time and hoists up a bunch of three-pointers to neutralize their lack of size. However, the exact opposite is true. The Bobcats have one of the best rebounding margins in the nation…right up there with Kentucky and Michigan State. Granted, Coach Tom Moore’s squad does not go up against the same competition day in and day out as Kentucky or Michigan State, but this is a team that easily outrebounded Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Justin Rutty is the main reason for the superb rebounding. Not only does he lead the team with 11.0 rebounds per contest, but he is also a superb interior scorer and averages 15.1 points per game. Jonathan Cruz is Rutty’s frontcourt mate in the starting lineup. While Cruz is not nearly as effective as Rutty in either the scoring or rebounding department, he is a tough defender and will do the dirty work in the paint. Jamee Jackson has a little more girth than Cruz at 220 pounds and could be a pretty good interior scorer if he could make a free-throw.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Only two players on the Bobcats hit at least one three-pointer per contest. James Feldeine is a great scorer, but his shooting has been inconsistent. The senior leader averages an impressive 17.1 points per game after leading the Northeast Conference in points a season ago. His ability to attack the basket is impressive and he, like most everybody on Quinnipiac, is a surprisingly good rebounder for his size. James Johnson is the more consistent outside shooter. But what Johnson does best is set up his teammates. Only a sophomore, Johnson has two years of starting experience under his belt and certainly does not play like an underclassman. His ability to keep the defense honest with his outside shooting makes him a dangerous scorer since he does such a good job attacking the basket. Feldeine and Johnson will score whether their outside shot is falling or not, but this team does not create a lot of turnovers and there will be times when they need to hit the long ball in order to spark the offense.
Who To Watch:
Jeremy Baker is the other starter on the perimeter. He is not a shooter either, but he does a great job attacking the basket. Deontay Twyman and Dave Johnson can provide a spark off the bench. Twyman is the most likely candidate to give the Bobcats a quick offensive jolt, but he has been quite inconsistent in his first season with Quinnipiac.
James Johnson, Sophomore, Guard, 11.9 ppg, 3.9 apg, 1.5 spg
Jeremy Baker, Senior, Guard, 9.0 ppg, 1.3 apg, 4.6 rpg
James Feldeine, Senior, Guard, 17.1 ppg, 2.5 apg, 6.0 rpg
Jonathan Cruz, Junior, Forward, 5.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg
Justin Rutty, Junior, Forward, 15.1 ppg, 11.0 rpg
Jamee Jackson, Freshman, Forward, 3.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg
Dave Johnson, Freshman, Guard, 3.8 ppg, 1.9 apg
Deontay Twyman, Junior, Guard, 7.2 ppg, 1.9 apg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.3 (67th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.5 (132, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.2 (83, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.4 (85, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.1 (327, 11)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: na
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.0 (73, 2)
Rebound Margin: 9.5 (1, 1)
Assists Per Game: 13.6 (125, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.8 (175, 3)
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