WPIAL Alum Q&A – Dale Clancy
Monday, February 6, 2017 | 5:12 PM
While Seton-LaSalle has a strong basketball tradition on the girls’ side, the boys’ team has won just one title since the 1980s. That triumph came in 2014, with point guard Dale Clancy leading the way for the Rebels. Clancy, who is now a star for the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown, is under the microscope for the WPIAL Q&A.
Prior to claiming gold, the Rebels enjoyed a very successful campaign in 2012-13, as Clancy helped the team go 21-3, including a perfect mark of 12-0 in section play. Seton-LaSalle bested Mohawk in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs, as well, before falling to Quaker Valley in the quarterfinals.
Clancy made his senior season one for the record books, though, as he propelled the Rebels to a 29-2 record. Seton-LaSalle knocked off Jeannette, Summit Academy and Beaver Falls to reach the WPIAL Class AA Championship. In that affair, Clancy netted a team-leading 16 points to help his squad edge Greensburg Central Catholic, 52-51.
The magical run continued for the Rebels, though, as they notched PIAA playoff wins against Penns Valley, Mercyhurst Prep, Aliquippa, and again Greensburg Central Catholic, to advance to the state finals. In that matchup, Clancy again netted 16 points, but his team came up just short of capturing more gold, falling 61-59 to Philadelphia Constitution.
In that senior year, Clancy averaged approximately 17 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists per contest, and was named to the MSA Sports All-Netters First-Team. He concluded his accomplished career at Seton-LaSalle with more than 1,000 points, 400 assists and 300 rebounds.
The point guard continued his playing career at Pitt-Johnstown, where he appeared in all 27 games as a freshman, including 12 starts. He paced the Mountain Cats in both assists and steals, and also ranked fourth on the team in scoring, at 7.6 points per game. UPJ struggled, however, as the team finished 12-15, including a first-round loss in the conference postseason.
The following campaign was a different story, though, and Clancy’s play was a big factor in the turnaround. As a sophomore, Clancy again led the team in assists and steals, but increased his production in both categories by a notable margin. He also scored at a greater rate, as he averaged more than 13 points per contest, including reaching double figures in 22 games. As a result, the Mountain Cats went 18-11, including a victory against Seton Hill in the first round of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) tournament.
This season, Clancy has continued to increase his output and lead his team to wins. The junior has produced averages of nearly 14 points, and more than 6 assists and 4 rebounds per game. He’s shooting particularly well from behind the arc, as Clancy has converted nearly 47 percent of his three-pointers. The Mountain Cats sit at 14-9, including a winning record in PSAC action.
Dale took time from his schedule to answer questions about his biggest area of growth in college, his fond memories of winning a title in high school, and his favorite all-time television show.
Q: You are scoring at a high rate this season, but also have impressive assist numbers. What’s the key to finding that balance between trying to score yourself, and setting up teammates?
A: For the most part, I just let the game come to me and take whatever my defender gives me. If I break him down and get around him, I can find an open teammate, and if not, I can create my own shot.
Q: What’s been your biggest area of growth since you started at UPJ?
A: I think my biggest area of growth is becoming more patient, using my quickness to the full extent, and being more consistent shooting from the floor.
Q: Your team had a losing record in your freshman year, but enjoyed a big turnaround last season. What was the biggest difference?
A: My freshman year, we were a young team, for the most part. I believe we all just needed that little bit of experience to get everything clicking between us.
Q: What are the team goals for this season?
A: To win the PSAC Championship and a national tournament bid.
Q: How much of a benefit was it to have a high-school teammate, Levi Masua, join you at the college level, as well?
A: It was a huge benefit. We helped each other adapt to the college level from day one, and our chemistry got even stronger after that.
Q: Do you focus on any particular types of workouts or lifting to prepare you for game action?
A: I stretch as hard as I can to get loose, and get as many shots up in warm-ups as possible to get the blood flowing.
Q: Why did you choose to attend Pitt Johnstown?
A: It’s a great school that will challenge me academically, and an even better coaching staff that actually cares about their players and hopes to see them succeed in everything they do.
Q: What is your major and preferred career?
A: Criminal justice, and I hope to become a detective agent in the future.
Q: What were your fondest memories of winning a WPIAL championship?
A: The road getting there, and knowing we made history. All the suspense and excitement we went through getting there is what makes it so worth while; it stills gets me excited to this day thinking of the journey.
Q: Do you still follow Seton-LaSalle athletics, or stay in contact with former teammates and coaches? A: Yes, a bunch of my former high school teammates and coaches are in a group message and we talk all the time to stay updated.
Q: Who is your favorite pro athlete?
A: LeBron James
Q: If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Q: What is your favorite TV show?
A: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Q: What is your favorite vacation spot, or a place where you hope to go someday?
A: My favorite vacation spot would have to be the Bahamas.
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