The NBA Draft tonight marks the ten year anniversary since Rutgers last had a player drafted in the first round. The player was Quincy Douby. Simply, he is the most accomplished Rutgers basketball player in decades. In honor of his draft day anniversary, let's evaluate Douby's legacy and appreciate how special a player he truly was.
In terms of statistical accomplishments, Douby's name is all over the Rutgers record book and he is one of the best scorers in program history. His junior year during the 2005-2006 season is the stuff of legend. He broke the program's single season scoring record with 839 points and led the Big East conference with 25.4 points per game. His scoring average per game for that season is third all-time in program history, behind only the great Bob Lloyd, who owns the top two. Regarding offensive win shares, Douby was first in the Big East with 5.5. Douby is the only Rutgers player to ever be named to the Big East all-conference first team. His 27 points per game scoring average in Big East games is the fourth highest in conference history. Fun fact, Douby was inexplicably not a unanimous first team selection in the conference with coaches voting. Villanova's Randy Foye and Allen Ray, Marquette's Steve Novak, and UConn's Rudy Gay all were.
In the past 20 seasons of Big East basketball, only Kemba Walker in 2011-2012 and Doug McDermott in 2013-2014, had a higher offensive win share total for a single season than Douby. Despite his epic season, Quincy finished second to Randy Foye of Villanova for Big East Player of the Year. Foye had an offensive win share of 2.6, good for tenth in the conference. In regards to total win shares, which includes defensive numbers, Douby led the conference with 7.8. Foye finished eighth with 5.7. Don't get me wrong, Foye was a great player, but Douby simply had a season for the ages.
Still a decade later, the fact that Douby was snubbed in 2006 still drives me nuts. The lazy argument is Foye was a great player surrounded by better talent on a good team and Douby was a great player on a lesser talented NIT team. No other Rutgers player averaged double figures in points that season, with Marquis Webb scoring the second most, averaging 9.5 points per game. However, even though Douby led the Big East in shots attempted, Foye took the second most shots in the league. This was not a case of Foye having less scoring opportunities because he was on a better team.
That's simply fiction. Douby was more efficient than Foye and finished eighth in the league in field goal percentage at 46.2%. Foye shot an unspectacular 41% from the field. Douby shot and made the second most three-pointers in the conference that season and finished third with a shooting percentage of 40.1% behind the arc. Foye finished ninth, shooting 35.0%. Douby led the Big East in made free throws and was sixth in shooting percentage, making 84.7% from the charity stripe. Foye finished tenth, shooting 79.1%. Lastly, Douby finished eighth in the league in steals with 1.8 per game, while Foye averaged 1.4 and out of the top ten. Again, Foye was a great player, but Douby outperformed him in every statistical category except rebounds, averaging 1.5 rebounds more a game.
Douby's magical 2005-2006 season was not just about scoring though. Aside from leading Rutgers in scoring and steals with a league eighth best 1.8 per game, he was second on the team with 3.1 assists and 0.8 blocks, and third in rebounding with 4.3 boards per game. Every Rutgers fan remembers during that season, it felt like we had a chance to beat anyone in any game because Douby was on the floor wearing scarlet, white, and black. His performance that season made the phrase "I Douby-lieve" a rallying cry among RU faithful.
In terms of winning, Rutgers had a record of 49-46 during Douby's three year career on the banks. He played on the last two winning teams the program has had, the 2003-2004 & 2005-2006 seasons. Douby started to emerge as a star midway through his freshman season in 2003-2004, which included a run to the NIT Finals. The oral history of that season, which Danny Breslauer and Dave White detailed so well, included Douby's thoughts and insight and can be read here.
Considering I was born one year after the program's greatest team made the 1976 Final Four, I can safely say Douby is the greatest Rutgers basketball player of my lifetime. He was a true assassin. The 35 points at the Garden in the NIT semifinals against Iowa State. The time he set the scoring record with 41 points against Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. His consistent ability in taking over a game, making shots from what felt like as far as from his native Coney Island. As a fan, it's a truly special feeling to have a player on your team that can change a game and it's outcome for the better in an instant. It's a rare occurrence, but when you have a player who has that capability, it's something to cherish.
That made it heartbreaking to see Douby forego his senior season, but it was completely understandable. Douby was drafted by the Sacramento Kings with the 19th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. It was a proud moment for Rutgers fans. It ended a 23 year drought since the last Rutgers player was drafted in the first round, which was Roy Hinson in 1983. As it turns out, Douby actually does regret skipping out on his senior season. He told Keith Sargeant of NJ Advance Media this back in February:
"I wish I would've stayed my last year, because I would've earned my degree,'' said Douby, who has taken online courses over the past year and hopes to finish up over the next few semesters. " I would've matured a little more. Probably would've had a banner (hanging in the rafters)
As he goes onto say, he was able to take care of his family financially, which made it all worth it. Aside from what Rutgers could have done the following season with Douby on the roster, think about the fact that he is currently the 51st highest scorer in Big East history with 1,690 points. If Douby would have been able to duplicate his junior season, when he scored 839 points, he would currently be the second all-time scorer in conference history, trailing only Troy Bell of Boston College. Even if he took a step back and averaged about 20 points a game his senior season, he would currently be third all-time. Of course, a banner would have been glorious, but we would have settled for an NCAA Tournament berth. Instead, Douby left, head coach Gary Waters got fired, and Rutgers went 3-13 in the conference and 10-19 overall in Fred Hill's first year as coach. The NCAA drought stands at 25 years and Rutgers hasn't had a winning season since Douby left the RAC.
While Douby was never able to reach a similar level in the NBA, playing for three different coaches in three consecutive seasons certainly didn't help. He also fell victim to the "tweener" tag, not quite fitting into a specific position's prototype at the NBA level. However, he has gone on to have a successful pro career, most notably in Turkey and China. Douby led a Turkish league in scoring one season and he set multiple scoring marks in China. As Sargeant points out, Douby played in International All-Star games three of his last five seasons, before sitting out last year after microfracture surgery. Although his stardom didn't occur in the NBA, he's had a good pro career for sure.
Quincy Douby was the best Rutgers player during their 18 year Big East history. His legacy is secure in Rutgers basketball history as of one of the greatest scorers of all-time. He unified a fanbase, he brought hope, and he delivered night in and night out. His junior season was one of the best individual seasons in Big East history and definitely top five in Rutgers history. To one of the all-time greats, happy anniversary Quincy Douby!
Career Marks in Rutgers history:
6th in scoring; 8th in scoring average; 8th in field goals made; 7th in field goal attempts; 2nd all-time three-point field goals made; 3rd in three-point attempts; 5th in all-time three-point %; 7th in all-time free throw %; 20th in made free throws
Single Season Marks in Rutgers history:
1st in single season scoring record; 3rd in single season scoring average; 2nd in field goals made single season; 1st in field goal attempts; 1st, 14th, & 18th in three-point field goals made in single season; 1st in three-point attempts; 7th & 16th in 3-point % single season; 6th single season free throws made; 15th in single season free throw %; 8th single season in steals; owns single game record for most three-pointers made in a single game
Douby Scores A Chinese League Record 75 Points In A Game