For the second time in head coach John Gallagher’s tenure, the Hartford Hawks will be heading down under.
The Hawks will travel to Australia to play six exhibition games during the month of August. Gallagher confirmed that he, athletic director Patricia Meiser, and university president Walter Harrison finalized details on the trip just over a month ago.
“I think they really understand the value of it and how close we are to reaching the school’s goal of being one of those teams that is competing at the highest level in the America East,” Gallagher said.
Per NCAA rules, schools could travel for a foreign trip once every four years. Prior to taking the trip, the NCAA allots 10 extra practices to the team in addition to workouts that can be conducted during the summer.
Sophomore Taylor Dyson, freshman Dougal Weir, and junior Corban Wroe are the Hawks three native Australians on the roster.
The Hawks took their last trip to Australia in August 2010, Gallagher’s first summer as head coach of the program. They played six games over the course of 10 days throughout the country and went 1-5 on that trip.
“Australia has been good to us,” Gallagher said noting that recruiting for the Hawks has helped build their brand across the country. “We are involved with higher level players over there and the exciting thing about our team is the practice time, but then different lineups we can try.”
The Hawks lose just one scholarship senior from a roster that finished third in America East play last season, their best finish since the 2007-08 season. Junior Mark Nwakamma was named to the All-America East First Team, led the team with 15.3 points per game and 5.8 rebounds per game. The Brisbane, Australia native Wroe was named to the America East Defensive Team.
“With everybody returning and the core group that we have, I think it’s an exciting time especially for the freshmen that are coming on board,” Gallagher said. “They’ll be able to get six games in overseas, so it should be fun.”
Hartford signed John Carroll, a 6’8″ power forward who spent a year in prep school at The Hill School. Carroll is originally from Dublin, Ireland and spent two years at the Florida-based IMG academy before a prep year in the Pottstown, Pennsylvania school.
Ryan Restivo covers the America East conference, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and Hofstra for Big Apple Buckets. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanarestivo or contact Ryan at rrestivo[at]nycbuckets.com.