"I have had an amazing four years at Western Michigan and I love Kalamazoo," Tava said, "But it was always my plan to get my degrees (undergraduate and MBA) at different schools.
"When I got hurt and . . .
After averaging 12.3 points and 6.2 rebounds a game as a junior, Tava was expected to have a big senior season at Western Michigan this past winter. Tava spent the entire season on the sideline however after undergoing surgeries on both feet. The 6-6 power forward broke his left foot during the preseason and then had an old break in his right foot repaired in late December.
With a lineup that started a freshman, two sophomores, a junior and a senior down the stretch, Western Michigan finished 2015-16 with a 13-19, 7-11 Mid-American Conference record.
Despite its youth, Western Michigan showed grit and determination battling to the wire in a number of games. Of those 19 losses, 15 were by 10 points or less. The team's non-conference schedule featured Stephen F. Austin who pulled off a big March Madness upset last night, as well as NCAA tournament participants UNCW and Vanderbilt. WMU handed MAC Tournament champion Buffalo its worst loss of the conference season, defeating the Bulls by 20 points, 91-71, in Kalamazoo on Jan. 23.
"As for next year, we signed a class in the fall knowing we had to replace the outgoing seniors which were Jared Klein, Taylor Perry, Anthony Avery and Connar. We had no idea Connar was going to get hurt and him moving to another school for his fifth year won't effect next year or the future. It already took its toll on us this past season and we couldn't have planned for that."
"It was definitely hard to sit out and know I could have helped this season," Tava said, "But I know the team will be fine next year, being a year older and more experienced.
"I talked it over with my teammates and Coach Hawk and my biggest thing was I didn't want them to feel like I was bailing on them. Most of the guys knew about my aspirations and everyone was supportive."
"Connar has my absolute support and agreement 100 percent with his decision," Hawkins said. "This is an academic-based decision and those that know our program know how I feel about academic success. He is pursuing his MBA and those hours don't transfer. This isn't just about his fifth year because it will take longer than one year to get his MBA. He wants to possess degrees from two different institutions and he has an opportunity to have two separate college experiences. No one can fault him for that."