Rebels basketball:

UNLV target Horace Spencer back from injury just in time for summer season

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Las Vegas Sun

UNLV head coach Dave Rice and assistant coach Todd Simon talk during the Bishop Gorman vs. Findlay Prep basketball game Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, at South Point. Gorman won 76-72 in overtime. Rice’s brother Grant Rice is the Gorman coach, while Simon previously coached Findlay Prep.

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Findlay Prep power forward Horace Spencer is pictured during a stoppage in play from a game against the Halloween All-Stars at Coronado High School on Oct. 26, 2013.

Findlay Prep forward Horace Spencer waited a long time for last weekend.

Forced out of action for much of the season with a hand injury, Spencer finally got the OK to return to the court. The class of 2015 forward didn’t disappoint in the Pangos Spring Spectacular at Bishop Gorman High.

Playing for Belmont Shore, Spencer averaged a double-double in front of coaches with increasing interest in the 6-foot-8, 215-pound four-star prospect. That includes UNLV, Louisville, Arizona and USC, among others. Spencer has taken unofficial visits to Temple and Seton Hall, and he had an up-close view of the Rebels at a few home games last season.

For the rest of the AAU season, Spencer plans to return to his regular team, the Gym Rats, out of New Jersey. The Rebels figure to be one of many teams keeping up with him throughout the summer.

Spencer spoke to the Sun to discuss returning to the court and offer some insight into his recruiting process:

What was the injury that’s had you sidelined?

I broke my thumb on Jan. 31, on my birthday. I wasn’t feeling anything for a couple of weeks and could only run, trying to stay in shape. I had a cast on for another four weeks until it was supposed to be finally healed. Then they said it’s healing but I’ve got to wear a brace, so I wasn’t able to play in the national high school tournament. So then I decided, 'What am I looking forward to? AAU.' I kept working toward this.

How did you think the weekend went?

I felt good. I averaged a double-double, so I was able to showcase my talents. Being back for the first tournament was great.

Did you feel like you hadn’t played in awhile?

Oh yeah, I am out of shape, not playing for three months. Once I get my wind back, I can keep up and use my intensity; play how I normally play.

What do you consider your strengths right now?

My defense, my rebounding and my inside scoring. Moving forward I want to really work on offensive moves, pull-up jumpers and things like that. I want to be an all-around player instead of a post player.

Who have you been mostly talking to on UNLV’s staff?

Coach Todd Simon and coach Rice. I like what they’re offering me. Academically I like some of the options, and the way they play basketball. I like how they play.

What is it about their style that you like?

I like how they run and up down the floor and get after it. That’s the type of player I want to be.

When do you expect to make your decision?

I’m not sure. ... When I know, you all will know.

What are some factors you’re looking for in a program?

Starting as a freshman, being able to play a fast-paced style and being able to win.

Has UNLV told you that you would start?

Not yet, not at all.

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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