Feldeine Coming Into His Own

Feldeine Coming Into His Own
By Zach Smart
January 22, 2007

HAMDEN — Opportunities came at a rarity for Quinnipiac off guard James Feldeine last season.

The then-freshman was buried on the bench behind a plethora of guards—Adam Gonzalez (who now plays in the Baloncesto Superior National, Puerto Rico’s professional league), three-point sniper Van Crafton, and Dale Meinbresse—to name a few, and spent much of his first year stuck on the pine.

Under then-coach Joe DeSantis, Feldeine was on a short chain. The 6-foot-4 sharpshooter would be inserted into the fold but quickly pulled if he misfired on his first shot attempt.

A high-profile recruit from a traditional basketball breeding ground (Bronx, N.Y.) who played alongside and against Louisville’s Edgar Sosa (and was mentored by the Sacramento Kings’ Francisco Garcia), Feldeine did not feel he was given a chance. But Feldeine, he of the unique sling-shot jumper and springs, stuck it out and patiently waited for his day to come.

Then DeSantis was fired in March as the coaching staff and much of the 2006-2007 roster were thoroughly cleansed.

Feldeine’s reaction?

Shoot, shoot, and shoot some more. A new opportunity to take advantage of.

Feldeine spent nearly his entire summer in Hamden, packing some muscle on his spindly, 190-lb. frame and shooting jumpers with teammate Casey Cosgrove until his arms tired out.

Feldeine, who played just 35 minutes last season, came into the season with a new mentality and sporting a new look as well. A tattoo with “King James” emblazoned on his right arm now makes its presence felt.

This year, Feldeine made his presence felt since Game 1. He scored 19 points and snared 10 boards in a double-overtime thriller in the season-opening win against Hartford. Feldeine’s timely buckets were critical in that one, as DeMario Anderson (team-high 20.8 PPG) had fouled out in regulation.

The transition from spare part freshman to instant lynchpin has prevented Anderson from shouldering too much of the scoring load. It’s also helped propel Quinnipiac to the top of the Northeast Conference.

These are uncharted waters for the Bobcats, which improved to 6-1 in conference play with a recent win against Long Island.

After being inserted into the starting lineup following Evann Baker’s hip-flexor injury, Feldeine has come into his element. Now Moore has employed a system that has Baker, the Bobcats second-leading scorer, coming off the bench.

During a trouncing of Dartmouth earlier in the season, Feldeine dropped 11 points—all in the second half and two on an emphatic, two-handed jam—and played lock-down defense on the Big Green’s top scorer Alex Barnett.

Against Long Island, Feldeine dropped 18 points, including eight in the final three minutes, to help lift the Bobcats to an 84-80 triumph.

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