Nate Sikma, Jamie Schneck, Wes Cole, Corban Wroe, Yolonzo Moore II and Mark Nwakamma.
These are the six seniors that took their final steps off their home court at the Chase Arena in West Hartford, Conn., after a 74-59 loss to Stony Brook. This was one of the most veteran teams in the country and head coach John Gallagher's first recruiting class. It created an emotional atmosphere for many in the stands.
This group of Hawks amassed 57 career victories in their time, making them the second winningest group in the school's Division I history, and the one that brought Hartford its first postseason appearance.
- Nwakamma and Moore are the first pair to reach the 1,000 point mark in the same class since 2011.
- Cole made a name for himself last year as the designated 3-point shooter, pouring in 10 threes in one game to give him a career-high 30 points.
- Wroe reinvented himself from a strictly defensive player to one that could carry the team if needed.
- Sikma is one of the best rebounders, averaging 4 per game throughout his career.
- Schneck's 6-8, 240 presence on the court is one of Gallagher's favorite defensive tools.
Gallagher and Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell agreed to let Nwakamma, who is still dealing with a knee injury, take the opening tip as a gesture for senior night.
While the game didn't go exactly as planned for the Hawks, it was a night where the seniors held it together and some of the younger players were given time on the court. Cole scored only five points. Moore's 11-point game brought him one shy of reaching 50 career games in double figures. But it was Wroe who carried the team with a game-high 17 points.
Freshman John Carroll and sophomore Justin Graham lead the way for the underclassman. Carroll scored only five points, but his 10 rebounds, a team high, definitely made a difference. Graham is Hartford's up-and-coming point guard who matched Moore with 11 points.
With this season coming to a close and their last game possibly being the quarterfinal matchup against New Hampshire, Gallagher felt nothing but immense pride for his seniors.
"We haven't had some of the results we wanted this year, but the way they go about their business on and off the floor, in the classroom and in the community has been a pleasure to be around," he said. "The seeds that they have planted for the growth of this program is going to be seen in the years to come... I'm thrilled to have coached them, it's not over yet."