#137 Quinnipiac Men's Basketball Preview

Quinnipiac Bobcats

Overall Rank: #137
Conference Rank: #3 Northeast
Quinnipiac logo
Quinnipiac Team Page

2010-11: 22-10, 13-5
2010-11 postseason: CIT
Coach: Tom Moore (75-51 at Quinnipiac, 75-51 overall)

With some unexpected departures in the backcourt, Quinnipiac will have to rely on Johnson and Johnson. Dave, a 5-10 junior, is accustomed to coming in off of the bench, but that will not be the case this year. Even though he rarely started, Dave averaged nearly 22 minutes per game and dished out 3.5 assists per contest. He is a good ball handler and should keep the Bobcats offense running smoothly. James is the more polished of the Johnson’s. The 6-0 senior led the team with 16.1 points per game a year ago and may be asked to take over even more of the offense this season. He is a good outside shooter and just a great all-around scorer. On top of that he is also a fine rebounder for a player of his size, a great passer and a shutdown defender. James will need to be the leader of Quinnipiac if they hope to make another trip to the postseason in 2012.

Who’s Out:
The Bobcats lose a ton of talent. The absence of Justin Rutty and Deontay Twyman will make this group look a lot different than last year. Rutty has been a dominating force in the paint and Twyman has been the playmaker. Without those two, Quinnipiac would be looking at a little rebuilding job, but things get worse when a handful of role-players are also gone. Lance Brown, Tevin Baskin, Dominique Langston and Raheem May-Thompson all could have been the players who stepped up and helped replace Rutty and Twyman, but they too are gone.

Who’s In:
Garvey Young is the newcomer who will help out the most right away. The former Vermont Catamount averaged 7.4 points and 4.0 rebounds two years with Vermont. Those numbers may not seem too great, but Young is a big guard who does all the little things. He is a great glue guy and if he can keep this team together, he will find himself in the starting lineup. Austin Alecxih is another big wing who has some Division I experience. He did not play much at UNC-Asheville the one year he was there, but he can be a decent contributor off of the bench in time. Alex Jackson will provide some experienced depth up front. The junior college transfer is only 6-5, but he plays much bigger than that and could see time at the power forward position. Marquis Barnett and Ousmane Drame are a couple of incoming freshmen who could make an immediate impact in the paint. Zaid Hearst is a talented shooting guard who could provide a nice spark off of the bench right away. Evan Conti and Justin Harris round out the large group of newcomers.

Who to Watch:
The star of the frontcourt is Jamee Jackson. The 6-7 junior started all 32 games a year ago and averaged 6.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. He will have a huge opportunity to increase his production now that Rutty is gone. He was third on the team in rebounding, but Rutty usually fell short in most of the opportunities. Those opportunities will not fall to Jackson and he has to keep Quinnipiac tough on the glass even without Rutty around. It was freshman Ike Azotam who was second on the team in rebounding, averaging 5.4 in just 17.3 minutes per game. Azotam started a half a dozen games as a freshman, but he will be forced into a much bigger role this season. If he can keep rebounding like he did last year and develop a little more efficiency on offensive, he could be a great player.

Final Projection:
Coach Tom Moore has a lot of rebuilding to do, but there is a nice nucleus to build around. Johnson, Johnson and Jackson give this team everything it needs. Add a rebounder like Azotam and an all-around player like Young and the starting five is pretty good. The Northeast Conference will be very tough this year and the lack of depth on Quinnipiac will likely keep them off the top of the standings, but the Bobcats should not be too far down the pecking order and it would not be a surprise if three NEC teams reached a postseason tournament of some sort.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Dave Johnson, Junior, Guard, 5.7 points per game
James Johnson, Senior, Guard, 16.1 points per game
Garvey Young, Junior, Guard, DNP last season
Ike Azotam, Sophomore, Forward, 5.1 points per game
Jamee Jackson, Junior, Forward, 6.3 points per game

Check out another article about Quinnipiac men’s basketball