Horizon League Breakout Candidate: Dante Treacy

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With RMU needing perimeter scoring, look for Treacy to step up

In the coming weeks, HoriZone Roundtable will highlight some of the returning players who could be in for breakout seasons in 2021. While a large number of breakout players are sophomores building off of strong freshman campaigns to become All-League performers — which I promise we’ll get to — the league frequently features late-bloomers who step into starring roles as upperclassmen.

Last year, Dantez Walton went from role player to early contender for Horizon League Player of the Year at Northern Kentucky before injuries derailed his season. JayQuan McCloud went through a smaller but still impressive jump to become a First Team All-League performer at Green Bay.

Due to an unusually high amount of roster turnover, there are several players who look like strong candidates to erupt into Horizon League stars this season. To start the series looking at the league’s potential new stars, we’ll highlight a player that many on our staff are high on as he enters his first year in the Horizon League to the point that he snuck onto the HoriZone Roundtable All-League Second Team.

Dante Treacy was one of Robert Morris’ best all-around players last year. He led the Colonials with 4.5 assists and 1.3 steals per game. The 6-foot tall junior is also the team’s second best returning scorer. He capped off an excellent all-around season by winning the Northeast Conference Tournament MVP. Don’t be surprised if the versatile guard builds off of last year’s success and takes on a bigger role scoring for RMU.

Unlike a number of potential breakout players we’ll highlight this week, Treacy isn’t expected to break through because of an anticipated increase in playing time. Rather, the Colonials’ do-it-all guard seems like an excellent candidate for this list because of how much perimeter scoring Robert Morris lost and because he’s an intelligent player who Head Coach Andy Toole will want to have the ball in his hands.

Robert Morris lost leading scorer and All-NEC guard Josh Williams and and backup Sayveon McEwen to graduation, while Jalen Hawkins transferred to Norfolk State after a promising sophomore season. Williams’ brother Jon and Cameron Wilbon — who missed the 2020 season due to injury — are the only two returning players with experience. The rest of the backcourt rotation will be filled out with freshmen. While RMU’s other HoriZone Roundtable Preseason All-League pick AJ Bramah should pick up some of the offensive slack inside the 3-point arc, the team will need a consistent performer on the perimeter.

With the team losing three experienced guards and replacing them with three true freshmen, there’s a good chance there won’t be as much scoring balance at RMU this year. Don’t be surprised if Treacy’s numbers in particular make a significant jump in 2021. He led the team in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio despite not being the team’s full-time starting point guard. He also hit over 50 percent of his shots from inside the arc and almost 40 percent from 3-point range. While he averaged just 8.7 points per game as a sophomore, his efficiency both inside and outside the 3-point arc suggest he has room to take on a bigger workload.

Treacy won the Northeast Conference Tournament MVP in 2020 after averaging 12.3 points, 3 rebounds 5.7 assists and 2.7 steals per game. Treacy hit 65.2 percent of his shots from the field and 55.6 from beyond the 3-point arc in leading the Colonials to an automatic berth in the cancelled 2020 NCAA Tournament. While it’s hard to project a full season’s body of work off of one postseason tournament, the fact that he was able to be so productive while sharing the court with two All-Conference performers suggests he could have the confidence to fill the void Williams leaves behind.

Miss anything from Preview Week(s)? Check it all out below:

Predictions
HoriZone Roundtable Preseason PollPreseason All-League Teams
If we had an All-Newcomer Team…All-Freshman Team Picks

Team Previews
Wright StateYoungstown StateRobert MorrisCleveland State
UICOaklandNorthern KentuckyDetroit Mercy
Green BayPurdue Fort WayneMilwaukeeIUPUI

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