Men’s basketball cleans up NEC awards

Lenny Neslin

For Quinnipiac’s men’s basketball team, the year just keeps getting better. This morning, the Northeast Conference announced Tom Moore as Coach of the Year, junior forward Justin Rutty as Player of the Year, and both Rutty and senior forward James Feldeine made All-First Team.

Moore led the Bobcats to their first-ever regular season championship (21-8, 15-3 NEC) and an undefeated record at home. Moore was named NEC Coach of the Year last year, but now he is being honored by the league.

“A lot of things go into this,” Moore said. “You have to have a great staff and a great administration to get an award like that. I certainly have both, and I’m great full for both.”

Rutty became the first Quinnipiac player ever to win NEC Player of the Year by ranking third in the nation in offensive rebounding (4.9 rpg), third in conference field goal percentage (53.9 percent), and eighth in scoring (15.0 ppg). He also had a conference-leading 14 double-doubles, which is a Quinnipiac Division I record.

“Justin has been immense,” Moore said. “When you get a kid at this level who’s vastly different then the type of players who come through at his position, I think you stand out even more. Justin’s combination of size and strength makes him stand out a little more. You don’t find that package too often at this level in a five man. That’s why I think he’s been able to have a pretty high level of success in the league.”

Other accomplishments for Rutty this season were two NEC Choice Hotels Player of the Week awards, and reaching 1,000 career points. Rutty is just the second Quinnipiac player to be named All-NEC twice in his career (Nate Pondexter (1998-00)).

Feldeine’s 17.3 points per game ranks fourth in the conference and earned him All-NEC recognition. Last year, he made second team and told The Chronicle an interview earlier this year that his goal in the beginning of this season was to be All-NEC.

“Coming into this season, I wanted to be NEC Player of the Year and first team because I thought I got gypped last year to be on the second team,” Feldeine said. “Now I don’t care about that. It’s all about my team and about winning and getting to the Tournament.”

Like Rutty, Feldeine joined the 1,000-point club this year and posted Quinnipiac’s first triple-double since Kason Mims accomplished the feat in 2004.

Photo credit: Andrew Vazzano