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5 potential Patriot League breakout players

When a bunch of high-profile seniors graduate, it leaves the door open for the next group to step up.

Army v American Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The Patriot League is always a competitive conference from top-down, and the 2019-20 season should be no different. The league is not as star heavy as in years past, with heavyweight four-year starters graduating from nearly every school over the past few years.

There are plenty of good players left in the Patriot League, however, and here are some unknown names that could break out.

Stacy Beckton Jr., American

A 6’4, 186-pound sophomore guard, Beckton Jr. is one of the top pure athletes in the Patriot League. After putting up 10.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks per game, Beckton Jr. should see a jump in usage with Sam Iorio’s transfer.

The son of former Bethune-Cookman coach Stacy Beckton, the Daytona Beach, Florida native averaged nearly 12 points per game in league play and shot nearly 40 percent from three-point range. Beckton Jr. is often the beneficiary of one of the league’s best lead guards, Sa’eed Nelson’s, passing ability.

While the Eagles likely won’t contend for a top spot in the conference, Beckton Jr. is a player worth monitoring. His athleticism and burgeoning skill set make him an intriguing overseas prospect.

Bruce Moore, Bucknell

An absolute bruiser who has to be under-listed at 208 pounds, Moore is Bucknell’s leading returning scorer. The 6’8 senior wing averaged 9.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, but will factor into the offense more with the graduation of all-league performers Kimbal Mackenzie and Nate Sestina.

Moore’s size makes him a tough assignment for shooting guards, and his speed is superior to most Patriot League bigs. His three-point shooting tailed off in league play (23.7%), but his overall career mark of 33.7 percent is more comforting. He should shoot even better this season as one of Bucknell’s focal points.

Isaiah Hart, Loyola Maryland

If Hart can put up more performances like the 25-point, six-assist outing in a road win at BU or the 18-point, seven-assist day in at win at Lehigh, Hart could emerge into the league’s top point guard.

The 5-11, 181 pound junior established himself as the starter four games into his freshman season, and is a solid complimentary piece for senior Andrew Kostecka, who led the conference in scoring last year.

Head coach Taveras Hardy enters his second season at the helm, and if Hart finds consistent success, the Greyhounds could challenge for a winning league record.

Alex King, Army

A 7.1-point, 3.1-rebound per game year certainly doesn’t jump off the page, but the 6’8, 200-pound junior is developing into a solid piece for the Black Knights.

As seniors Tommy Funk and Matt Wilson established themselves last year, look for King to make a similar jump as he becomes an upperclassman. He should average more than the 20.4 minutes per game last year, which will only help his statistical output.

Javante McCoy, Boston University

McCoy ended his sophomore year in spectacular fashion with career-best 30-point night against Loyola in the first round of the league tournament, then a 20-point effort against eventual league champion Colgate.

The 6’5, 180-pound guard has all the makings of a top-flight Patriot League player. After shooting 43.5 percent from deep as a freshman, McCoy took a little step back, but at 38.6 percent, still had a solid showing from distance.

With Tyler Scanlon taking a grad transfer to Belmont and Walter Whyte coming off a lost season due to injury, McCoy should shoulder a major load throughout his junior year.