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UConn basketball sured-up its starting five with a late transfer portal add on Tuesday night. Cam Spencer, Rutgers’ leading scorer last season, is headed 150 miles north for his final year of eligibility.
The move was significant for UConn in two ways.
First and foremost, Spencer is a big piece of the puzzle for the reigning national champions. The Huskies saw the majority of its starting lineup head to the NBA after cutting down the nets, but they have since rebuilt through the portal and recruiting.
UConn’s projected starting five for 2023 will look something like this:
- Stephon Castle
- Tristen Newton
- Cam Spencer
- Alex Karaban
- Donovan Clingan
Spencer is UConn’s biggest offseason addition.
Secondly, the move was a serious statement out of Storrs in regard to Name, Image and Likeness. Although there are not any confirmed deals or agreements to this point, Spencer’s decision to leave the Scarlet Knights was reportedly linked to NIL opportunities.
After announcing his decision to leave Rutgers, Spencer visited Miami, Oklahoma, UCLA and UConn. The Hurricanes have significant NIL funds, largely subsidized by John Ruiz, that had a direct correlation to their success during the 2022/23 basketball season.
If Spencer’s decision was truly about financial opportunity, Miami presumably would have been the highest bidder. The Sooners and Bruins are not destitute in the NIL space either.
For the Huskies to land Spencer, if money played the role that has been reported, means that their collectives have the backing to match (or come close) to other offers. That’s impressive.
UConn found the money to compete with some of the biggest NIL funds in basketball. Spencer was, in a sense, a statement.
Perhaps the D’Amelio collective had a role. Perhaps it was a collective effort, pun intended.
Either way– the Huskies have the money necessary to compete with the blue bloods, if they aren’t one themselves!