In the first major roster news of the month, Loyola Maryland transfer Cam Spencer announced his commitment to the Rutgers men’s basketball team this week. Spencer is the first addition to the Scarlet Knights’ (18-14, 12-8) roster this offseason via the transfer portal after adding two players last offseason.
Spencer had a breakout junior season for the Greyhounds (14-16, 8-11), which earned him a spot on the All-Patriot League First Team. The Davidsonville, Maryland, native averaged 18.9 points (PPG) and 2.3 steals on 37 minutes per game (MPG) last season, all of which were conference bests.
He was graded as a four-star transfer and the ninth-best player available in the portal.
“It started with building a relationship with (head coach Steve Pikiell),” Spencer said. “We had spoken over the phone. I thought we got along very well. Once I got on campus, I thought what we had talked about over the phone was confirmed in person."
A key component of Spencer’s game is his shooting from the three-point and free throw line. Last season, he shot 35.8 percent, and in his first two seasons for Loyola, he shot 44.3 percent from three on 106 attempts.
At the free throw line, Spencer shot 85.8 percent last season, good enough for second in the Patriot League. Spencer would have ranked as the top free throw shooter for Rutgers if he were a member of the team last year.
“(Pikiell and I) talked about the roster coming back and kind of where I can fit in,” Spencer said. “(The Knights) have some great pieces coming back, and (Pikiell) thinks I can come in and help them score the ball a little bit and also pass the ball as well and do whatever I need to do to help the team win.”
The addition of Spencer will help the Knights fill the holes left from the likely departures of senior guards Geo Baker, Ron Harper Jr. and Caleb McConnell. While Baker has exhausted his eligibility, if Harper and McConnell were to join Baker in leaving, Rutgers would lose its top two scorers and its best perimeter defender.
Spencer will play alongside junior guard Paul Mulcahy in the backcourt. He will join a remaining core of Mulcahy, sophomore center Clifford Omoruyi and sophomore forwards Mawot Mag, Aundre Hyatt and Dean Reiber, among other players.
“(Mulcahy) is a great player. He led the Big Ten in assists and (is) obviously a very team-oriented guy,” Spencer said. “(Omoruyi) is a great player, easy to play with. They’ve won before, so they know what it takes. Those are some good pieces to join in with.”
Spencer’s older brother, Pat Spencer, was a four-time All-American lacrosse player for the Greyhounds before making a transition to play Big Ten basketball at Northwestern for his last year of eligibility.
As a member of the Wildcats (15-16, 7-13) for the 2019-20 season, the elder Spencer averaged 10.4 PPG on 29.3 MPG. He currently plays for the Capital City Go-Go of the NBA G League.
“I got to see what Big Ten basketball was all about,” the younger Spencer said. “That was definitely a motivator for me. He helped me a lot throughout this process.”
In light of Spencer’s commitment, the Knights now have two scholarships remaining in the transfer portal when considering sophomore guard Aiden Terry, who was elevated to a scholarship player last season.
Some available names Rutgers has been linked to include Marcus Hammond and Ithiel Horton.
“It was as big as you want it to be and as small as you want it to be as well,” Spencer said. “I enjoyed staying on campus and meeting the staff. I think it will be a great place for me for the next two years.”
For more updates on the Rutgers men's basketball team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.