Rapid Reaction Episode: Cam Spencer leaves Rutgers unexpectedly
Episode No. 75 is my rapid reaction to the breaking news of Cam Spencer shockingly entering the transfer portal. The Scarlet Faithful has learned that Rutgers shooting guard Cam Spencer is entering the transfer portal. NIL money is a motivating factor in his decision to leave the program.
Spencer had the highest offensive rating on the team last season at 119.4, which was No. 143 nationally. It was also the highest offensive rating of any Rutgers player during the Pikiell era. Spencer scored in double digits in 24 of 34 games. 15 different times, Cam scored 15 or more points. He was the best offensive player on Rutgers by a wide margin last season.
This is obviously a massive blow to Rutgers for next season. It was a complete surprise to the program. Replacing its most efficient offensive player would have been hard enough in March or April. Having to do so now with Memorial Day approaching and many top transfers already committed elsewhere makes it that much worse.
An important offseason for the program has now reached a critical stage. The loss of Spencer puts Rutgers in the bottom half of the Big Ten on paper. There is still time to upgrade the roster. Obviously finding a shooter and a big man in the transfer portal, even if Cliff returns, is needed. Pikiell and the staff will now attempt to turn over every stone in the portal for players that can contribute next season. There is certainly opportunity available. Three scholarships are now open if Cliff Omoruyi and Paul Mulcahy ultimately return.
I breakdown what Spencer’s departure means to the program in real time. How it went down, why it happened and how Rutgers moves forward from here.
Thanks for listening and watching The Scarlet Faithful podcast once again. Hopefully, this episode can be therapeutic in a way.
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May 19, 2023 at 11:06 pm
May 20, 2023 at 12:21 pm
And part of me wondered if there would be enough news for Aaron to do a daily podcast. Sheesh. There is so much to say about this and none of it is good. I read Andy Katz basically saying that this isn’t a big deal and while it only impacts RU for one season if Cliff leaves I think that filling those voids will be too much. I’m 47 and would always argue that college sports was the best because you could grow a few years with a team and enjoy watching their maturation. I genuinely felt that the name on the front of the uniform meant something. There was a connection. While that still exists with some guys today, NIL and the ease of the portal has changed everything. And…I don’t see how RU is going to keep up. With the constant fear of articles like this it is impossible anymore for us as fans and alumni to grow with teams. If RU can’t get Cam enough money, what’s to say that Gavin, or anyone else, doesn’t walk after a year? Does anyone really think that if Cliff could accept NIL money that coming back to RU would even be a legit option? I fear that the system is broken and unfortunately RU is once again on the outside looking in.
May 22, 2023 at 3:05 pm
You make some excellent points. This is world of collegiate athletics we live in today. I waited to comment on Spencer until there was more info on him as to who is in the running for his services. If he’s going to the highest bidder and it was a “business” decision, then so be it. From a timing basis, he waited for just the right time when his market value was highest. It screwed Rutgers from a timing basis but that’s the world of today, i.e. there’s no such thing as loyalty. In actuality, you can make a good case that Spencer saw his playing time questionable with Simpson’s emergence, the potential return of PM, not to mention Fernandes, and particularly Griffiths as a real threat to playing time. So, Spencer’s gone, Cliff may/may not return, there’s an apparent new assistant coach hired who we know little about other than he’s pals with Knight from Pitt days together coaching. Lot’s to chew on and things to be worried about, I think. NIL is now the wild card & growing bigger! It sucks!