Senior Day: A time to celebrate the successes of the careers of seniors for a specific sport. For the Fairfield University Men’s Basketball team, they’ll wish their Senior Day game against University of Albany could have been a better representation of the impressive careers of the three senior Stags.
On Saturday, the Stags fell 58-50 to Albany, in a performance that wasn’t what was expected from the team who has been scoring high in their last several games.
As he has most of the season, Derek Needham ’13 had the most points for the team, ending the game with 15. It was nothing compared to his 31 points against Siena on February 14, but still was enough to get the Stags in the game.
Unfortunately for the Stags, their valiant efforts were not enough to get the wins in honor of their senior class.
Before the game, there was a ceremony for the senior class, which is comprised of Needham, Desmond Wade and Colin Nickerson.
The ceremony began by honoring Wade, who came to the Stags in the 2010-2011 season as a transfer from Houston.
While at Houston, he became the third person in team history to record consecutive 100-assist season. In 2009-2010 he ended his year with 167 assists to his name.
When Wade was finally able to play in the 2011-2012 season for the Stags, he was an integral part of the team, starting 30-32 games, and ending his season with 97 assists.
Wade’s final season with the Stags has been marred by injury, has not played since February 4 because of a knee injury. However, Head Coach, Sydney Johnson is hopeful that Wade will be back in the lineup for their next game.
“It’s been two weeks and four days. I’ve been saying it all along, two weeks, and he’ll be back with us on Monday, ” said Johnson.
So far this season, Nickerson has played his most pivotal role for the Stags in his four years with the team. He has started for the Stags 15 times this season and contributed 779 minutes to the cause.
In his freshman year, Nickerson lead the bench in scoring seven times during the season. He was one of the top contributors from the bench in throughout the season.
Sophomore year, Nickerson really developed a strong defensive standing in the conference; placing second in the MAAC for steals per game, averaging 1.9.
Finally, in his junior season, Nickerson finally got the chance to move to a starting role, beginning in the middle of February. In the games where he started, Nickerson shot 55% from the floor, and led the Stags with a .524 field goal percentage.
Needham has garnered national attention during his senior season, being placed on the Cousy Award Watch List, which is awarded to the top point-guard in the nation.
Needham was impressive right off the bat, as he had the most successful freshman campaign in school history. He earned a record for most points in a freshman season with 558 and most assists with 177, both of which lead the team.
He didn’t let up in his sophomore season, as he became the first Fairfield University student-athlete since Joe DeSantis (1975-76 and 1976-77) to lead the team in scoring in their first two years. He ended the season with a 14.1 scoring average and with a total of 73 three-point baskets made.
Before Needham’s injury late in his junior season, he was on track to have an equally successful third year. His season was highlighted by a career high 32-point effort against Niagara. By the end of the season Needham had 1,366 points to his name.
So far in the season, Needham has been the most vital player to the success of the Stags. He has 431 points to his name, bringing his total to 1,791 and is now first all-time for three-point baskets with 271.
These three seniors have been important and statistically impressive in their time at Fairfield University. The Stags are going to need their skills and experience to make a strong run in the MAAC Tournament.