Rutgers men’s basketball has added an impact player in Cam Spencer, a transfer from Loyola-Maryland. He took an official visit on Monday and Tuesday before committing to the program.
Rutgers has landed Loyola Maryland transfer Cam Spencer, source told @Stadium. Spencer averaged 19 points, 5 boards and 3 assists per game this past season.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) April 20, 2022
Nice pickup for Steve Pikiell & Co.
The junior was a First Team All-Patriot League selection this past season in which he led the conference in scoring, steals and minutes played. He averaged 18.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and ranked in the top 500 nationally in over a dozen advanced statistical categories. He was also named to the Academic All-Patriot League Team last season.
He visited mid-major power Loyola-Chicago last weekend and was being pursued by Minnesota and N.C. State but never visited.
Spencer is rated the 9th best transfer player available in the portal per Bart Torvik and a 4-star transfer per Evan Mikayama. Both ranking services are based on advanced stats. He was listed in the top 50 transfers available by national writers Sam Vecenie and CJ Moore of the Athletic as well as Jeff Goodman of the Stadium.
The 6’4” shooting guard has two years of eligibility remaining and is likely to replace Geo Baker in the starting lineup next season. KenPom listed Spencer as the second most efficient player in the Patriot League this past season.
Spencer is a high level shooter who squares his body to the basket, has good form and mechanics, a smooth stroke, and range. He has a high release point on his shot which allows him to shoot over defenders and doesn’t need a lot of space. His offensive rating of 115.7 was 234th best nationally and his effective field goal percentage was 53.6% (375th). He was 88th nationally in shooting 85.8% from the foul line on 106 attempts. However, he is a complete player who rebounds well for his position, is a reliable ball hander with a 19.3% assist rate (431st) and just a 8.7% turnover rate (31st) along with a 3.6% steal rate (80th).
An even deeper dive shows Spencer was 106th nationally in cutting offensive efficiency, 125th nationally in pick n roll ballhandler offensive efficiency and 356th nationally in halfcourt offensive efficiency. While Spencer is not going to do his damage in attacking the rim off the dribble that much, he is a smart player who has a strong understanding of how to play and can create his own shot off of screens and backdoor cuts.
From three-point range, Spencer made 35.8% on 162 attempts as a junior after making 44.3% on 106 attempts in his first two seasons. He has battled a hip injury in the past but was healthy this past season, playing 92.2% of minutes possible which ranked 11th highest nationally. While he had a high usage rate and took 28.8% of his team’s shots, he has proven to be an efficient player. His ability to remain that way in taking a jump up to the Big Ten is the key to his success at Rutgers. Spencer is talented and complete enough of a player to be a significant contributor at the high major level. He’s a tough player that plays both ends of the floor, is crafty, willing to take the big shot, plays with energy and some swagger.
Regarding any concerns with his game, Spencer doesn’t have the fastest release on his shot and his ability to defend smaller, quicker guards in the Big Ten could be an issue.
In regard to notable performances last season for Loyola-Maryland (14-16), Spencer scored 15 points on 6 of 14 shooting along with 3 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists against national finalist North Carolina in the season opener. Spencer’s season high was 32 points along with 5 assists and 3 rebounds against College of Charleston. He scored in double digits in 28 of 30 games played and scored 20 or more points in 12 games.
With Spencer committing, another guard target, Marcus Hammond, who was scheduled to visit this week is no longer an option. He visited Georgetown last weekend and also has visits set at Notre Dame and Kansas State. While they are not exactly the same type of player, it’s worth noting Spencer ranks higher than Hammond in both transfer ranking services mentioned in this article.
Spencer’s brother Pat was a four time All-American in men’s lacrosse for Loyola-Maryland. He won the Tewaaraton Award given to the National Player of the Year in 2019 before playing one season of college basketball at Northwestern in which he averaged just over 10 points a game.
Here is the current roster for Rutgers with three available scholarships remaining, although Aidan Terry was elevated from walk-on to scholarship player last season. He could continue that way next season which would mean only two scholarships would still be open.
Backcourt: Paul Mulcahy (2), Cam Spencer (2), Jalen Miller (3), Derek Simpson (4)
Wings: Aundre Hyatt (2), Mawot Mag (3), Oskar Palmquist (3)
Frontcourt: Cliff Omoruyi (3), Dean Reiber (3), Antwone Woolfork (4)
Declared for NBA: Ron Harper Jr. (1), Caleb McConnell (1), Jaden Jones (3)
Note: All three remain eligible to return until the June 1 withdrawal date.
To read what Spencer’s former coaches think of his game and his journey, click here.
You can watch highlights of Cam Spencer from this past season for Loyola-Maryland here.