Jacob Rigoni hits 1,000 career points

As the sole senior, Rigoni reflects on his accomplishment

Dalton Rice, Staff Writer

As the only four-year player on this year’s Quinnipiac men’s basketball team, forward Jacob Rigoni has accepted his leadership role wholeheartedly.

With four freshmen, five sophomores and four juniors on the roster, head coach Baker Dunleavy handed Rigoni the keys to the team, knowing the positive impact that he would have on the younger players.

“I’ve seen a lot of ups and downs throughout my time here,” Rigoni said. “I think the guys really respect me and want to learn from me, it’s something I’ve really enjoyed.”

Rigoni is averaging 11 points per game and 6.6 rebounds per game this year, both career highs. (Graphic by Connor Lawless)

The last 10 months have been all but normal, starting in March when the MAAC tournament was canceled before Quinnipiac could play a game due to COVID-19 concerns. Flashing forward to the start of this season, the men’s basketball team had only played four games from Nov. 25 to Jan. 7, and 10 total due to multiple positive COVID-19 tests within the program.

Even though the Bobcats have only competed in 10 of their 17 scheduled games, there have been many bright spots along the way, most notably Rigoni hitting 1,000 career points. Needing only 16 points heading into a weekend series at home against Niagara, Rigoni put up 12 points in the opener and 11 the next game where the Bobcats won the final contest of the series 78-69.

Knowing he exceeded 1,000 career points, Rigoni simply gave the camera a smile and brushed off the achievement, saying his attention was focused on an intense weekend matchup against a MAAC opponent with a victory.

“I was more focused on the team and trying to get two wins this weekend, unfortunately we didn’t get that done last night (Jan. 22), but it was a great job by us bouncing back,” Rigoni said after the Bobcats win. “Obviously, it’s a nice milestone for myself. The things that motivate and drive me everyday since I’ve been here is to be the best team at the end of the year and that’s something I still really want to achieve.”

Rigoni improved consistently over his four years in Hamden, visibly getting better in a statistical category every season, especially this year. Rigoni’s 11 points per game (PPG) and 6.6 rebounds per game (RPG) in 32.4 minutes per game (MPG) are all career highs that have contributed to Quinnipiac’s four wins. Going forward, Rigoni and his Bobcats have 14 games left to push their way into the MAAC tournament.

“A lot of my time here I have been looking in the future too much rather than enjoying the moment. I’ve had a great perspective over these three years … I’m really just soaking in this year and have a really successful senior year here,” Rigoni said.

Regardless of what he does after graduation, Rigoni will have already cemented himself as the 43rd member of the Quinnipiac men’s basketball 1,000 point club. He’s also 25 3-pointers away from breaking the program record for most made 3-pointers.

“Jake is the guy who has been the cornerstone of Quinnipiac’s basketball culture. He’s one of the hardest workers I’ve ever met and a guy who has your back during the toughest moments of the season,” said Rich Kelly, a former Bobcat and three-year teammate of Rigoni’s.