July 6, 2013

No longer a sleeper

Kevin McCarthy

Many years ago, Gallo used to run a commercial touting “we will sell no wine before its time.” The same goes in basketball recruiting as a scholarship offer will be extended when college coaches are satisfied and ready to do so. Now is the time for Spencer Rust.

photo of Spencer Rust

The Monte Vista High and Lakeshow Pump N Run 2014 talent stands 6-foot-9 and offers versatility, a commodity not often associated with bigs. He can score with either hand, shoots well facing the basket and with distance, does his share of work on the boards and, very importantly, hasn't reached the apex of his potential.

And yes, recruiters have caught on to the possibilities offered by the All East Bay Athletic League (EBAL) First Team 2013 honoree.

“College coaches are looking at me as a 4/3, a stretch forward,” Rust offered. “I play well in the post but also played on the perimeter growing up so my game is diverse.”

Another aptitude in which Rust shows a plus capacity is basketball IQ.

“Over the years, I've developed a good understanding of the game and how to implement my understanding.”

Besides the usual scoring and rebounding, Rust see multiple tasks for himself.

“My roles are to be a leader on and off the court, to bring energy and to inspire others to go hard.”

Regarding the developing interest in him from college coaches, he explained, “I'm open to the whole recruiting process.” He has no favorites or geographic no-go zones. It's a matter of “going to a school and seeing if it feels right.” He has visited a number of colleges and “a couple didn't seem a fit.”

Here's Lakeshow Coach Joe Fuca on some of the school flagging Rust: “He has Columbia, Citadel, St. Mary's, Denver, Princeton, UC Davis and Cal Poly all very interested.”

Rust is currently ranked No. 24 in the NorCal Preps 2014 Boys Basketball Top 40.

Fuca's assessment of his big: “Spencer is a active big man. At 6-foot-9, he is one of the best shot blockers we have ever had. In our spring games, Spencer was the most consistent scorer, rebounder and shot blocker. He has gone from not being on anyone's radar to a very good chance at a Division 1 scholarships. Spencer is very competitive and loves to play when the game is on the line. he is going to have a great summer.”

Rust calls his father his biggest basketball influence: “He's my biggest supporter. He took me to the gym, he would rebound for me and comes to my games.”

So why the roundball coming from a family that enjoyed viewing all manner of athletics?

“I always liked the pace and the complexity of basketball. I grew up watching all the sports but basketball is the most intense and action-packed. It's always moving.”

Rust is looking into biology, biochemistry and pre med as major possibilities.

He is optimistic about his final go-around in high school as Monte Vista is coming off a 20-7, 11-3 season. “We're looking to have one of our best teams as we have four returning starters.”

Monte Vista finished two games behind De La Salle in the EBAL and the Mustangs are looking to reverse that come the 2013-14 season.

As for his best basketball moment to date, it took place last year: “We were coming off a pretty embarrassing loss to California (45-41) and then beat De La Salle at De La Salle.” That was a 49-40 January 8 victory. in which Rust totaled 13 points plus four blocked shots.