UConn’s chances of defending their 2023 national title got a major boost Tuesday night as multiple reports announced that Rutgers transfer Cam Spencer has committed to the Huskies. Spencer, a career 40.5 percent shooter from three, averaged 13.2 points per game last season with Steve Pikiell’s Scarlet Knights.
Spencer was a late entry into the transfer portal but was widely regarded as one of the top shooters on the market after shooting 43.4 percent from deep last season, his first at Rutgers after three years at Loyola (Maryland). He’ll do his best to fill at least part of a Jordan Hawkins-sized hole in the Huskies offense, which prior to Spencer’s addition was lacking consistent shooting skills with the departures of Hawkins and Joey Calcaterra.
At 6-foot-4. Spencer has enough size to form a sizable backcourt with the likes of Tristen Newton (6-foot-5) and standout freshman Stephon Castle (6-foot-6). It’s entirely possible the Huskies’ early season starting five consists of those three with Alex Karaban and Donovan Clingan holding down the frontcourt. Spencer’s addition gives UConn three dangerous 3-point weapons in that potential starting lineup — very similar to what the Huskies had least season.
Asking Spencer to fill the shoes of Hawkins — who shot 38.8 percent on nearly 300 3-point attempts — is a tall task. But with offenses having to focus on the likes of Newton, Karaban and potentially Clingan on the perimeter, Spencer will get his fair share of good looks. Spencer had 11 games last season with three or more made 3-pointers, and showed he could come up big when he needed to, draining a clutch three on the road in West Lafayette, Indiana to help Rutgers upset then-No. 1 Purdue.
With Spencer in the fold, the Huskies now sit at 12 scholarships for next season. Prior to Spencer’s commitment, Hurley told the media on Monday he did not expect to fill more than one of those two available spots.
“I don’t see a way we don’t add at least one, but I don’t feel the pressure to get to 13 (scholarship players),” Hurley told Gavin Keefe of the New London Day. “It might not work great. It may just be one more person that goes in the portal.”