By Timothy MacLean ‘16
Over the course of its 60-plus-year history, the Merrimack College men’s basketball program has seen it’s fair share of big-time scorers. From Ed Murphy (’78), the school’s all-time leading scorer (2,874), to Tommy Lewis (’86, 1,004), 40 different players held the distinction of netting more than 1,000 career points prior to the 2015-16 season.
But now, with just a few weeks remaining before the NE-10 Tournament begins, that list has grown to 42, as senior guards JT Strickland and Troy Hammel passed the milestone in November and December, respectively.
Strickland has been nothing if not consistent throughout his career, scoring at least 300 points over the last three seasons including a career single-season high of 329 as a junior.
The Laurel, MD product is on pace to shatter that mark before the year is finished, though, as he has already amassed 300 points with seven games still left on the schedule.
Hammel on the other hand, found his way to 1,000 by increasing his offensive output exponentially from year to year, scoring 124 points as a freshman, 257 as a sophomore and a career-best 457 as a junior.
The six-foot guard is on pace to reach 441 points this season assuming he maintains his current average of 16.4 points per game.
Strickland and Hammel aren’t the only two rewriting the record books, however. Fellow senior Gelvis Solano is looking to make history of his own as he chases the 2,000-point benchmark.
As of February 3, Solano sits at 1,930 career points and if he continues to pour in 19.5 per game down the stretch he’ll finish his career with at least 2,066 points—good for third all-time in school history.
Of the forty-two 1,000-point scorers, only five have gone over 2,000. Solano should become the sixth member of the elite club if all goes according to plan.
Photo courtesy of Merrimack Athletics