Scout's Take: Horace Spencer to Auburn


Securing two ESPN 100 commitments over a three-day span is high-level recruiting as Bruce Pearl and Auburn landed ESPN No. 75 Horace Spencer (Warminster, Pa./Findlay Prep) Sunday after landing a commitment on Friday from ESPN No. 50 Danjel Purifoy. Spencer picked Auburn over Rutgers, Seton Hall, Oklahoma State, Temple, Providence, UNLV and South Florida,

Why he committed: Pearl is building his program. Right now there is plenty of playing time and Spencer jumped on the opportunity.

“The coaching staff was passionate about me and how I could start when I come in plus I found the facilities to be amazing," said Spencer.

What he brings: Recently I wrote that Spencer was one of the best summer risers because he plays the game with so much energy and effort. He's a relentless rebounder who can also run the floor for transition baskets as well as spring back on defense to chase down the opponent's fast break. He is long and bouncy with a soft touch inside. His post game will continue to develop, but rest assured he will be finishing plays at the rim along with gaining offensive tip-ins and second-chance points for his team. “Horace is high-motor guy who runs through the wall for you and a team-first guy who wants to win,” said Findlay Prep coach Andy Johnson.

How he fits: Coaching against Pearl in the Horizon League, I know he is going to try to speed up the game and make it uncomfortable for opponents by pressing on the ball and trapping the first pass or just staying straight man to man. Pearl loves to have an active big man on the top of his press to make it hard for opponents to get the ball inbounds; Spencer will be so valuable in that area with his athletic and active body. He can also serve in the back of the press protecting the rim, swatting away shots or simply altering attempts. When the game slows down you will see some zone defense from Auburn and Spencer is mobile and long enough to cover ground to get out on shooters or patrol the middle. Offensively, a variation of the swing offense could be used as it has in the past and Spencer will be centered in the middle of that offense which includes setting baseline screens then ducking in behind the cutter for a post-up.

Who he reminds us of: What made Pearl highly successful at Milwaukee and Tennessee was recruiting athletes to play in his system. Spencer rebounds, hustles, and brings and gives energy to his team in ways similar to Dennis Rodman, which is a huge compliment. He goes after every missed shot both inside and outside of his space.

How their class is shaping up: With both Spencer and Purifoy, Auburn has two extremely athletic mobile prospects ready to turn this program around. There is usually a recruiting momentum factor when a new head coach is hired, and with all the NCAA issues behind him Pearl can begin to home in on more senior prospects. Also now they can host massive unofficial visits on football weekends to begin making inroads with future classes. Don’t forget they have a junior college stud in Cinmeon Bowers as well as Marshall transfer Kareem Canty. The reason Pearl was hired was because he can recruit and coach with the best in the business. He is off to a great start securing talent.