As the University of Akron basketball team winds down its season with hopes of amping up its chemistry and cohesion, an undeniable fact has emerged.

As Tree grows, the Zips seem to go.

And 6-foot-8 forward Demetrius “Tree” Treadwell is growing during his junior season, his first as the face of the program.

The story can be told in the numbers. Treadwell, a Euclid native, is among the best in the conference and the stats show that he continues to improve across the board.

Last year Treadwell averaged 11.5 points per game (11.4 in the Mid-American Conference), 7.9 rebounds (8.2 in MAC), shot 50 percent from the free-throw line (62 percent in MAC), blocked 11 shots overall (six in conference) and stole the ball 26 times during the season with 15 coming during conference play.

He’s impressed even more during the current season.

So far he’s giving the Zips 14.5 points per game (16.3 in conference) and he’s grabbing 8.8 rebounds, 10.2 in the MAC. His free-throw percentage has risen to 63 percent overall and 65 percent in the conference and he’s blocked 23 shots (15 in MAC) and he has 30 steals, 18 in the MAC.

In the past 10 games, the fewest points Treadwell scored during that span (12) came against Bowling Green.

He tapped a career high this past Saturday against Northern Illinois when he scored 25 points on 7-of-9 shooting. And he added 10 rebounds for his ninth double-double in 10 games. It was the first time a UA player scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds since Christopher McKnight on Feb. 14, 2010.

“It’s more of a midseason thing,” Treadwell said. “You’re starting to hit your stride. The double-doubles are starting to come. It’s me giving effort every night.”

Efforts such as those or close to it might be required during the team’s stretch run because the Zips are without forward Nick Harney and wingman Reggie McAdams.