Rebels basketball:

Findlay Prep forward likes what he hears from UNLV’s staff


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Findlay Prep forward Horace Spencer fouls Bishop Gorman guard Noah Robotham during their game Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 at the South Point. Gorman won 76-72 in overtime.

Keep coming with all those calls and texts, college coaches. Horace Spencer isn’t getting tired of them and he’s not turning off his phone anytime soon.

“I enjoy it because it shows that they want me for their programs,” said Spencer, a senior forward at Findlay Prep.

While other top prospects might grow weary of the constant pestering that comes with the recruiting process, so far Spencer seems to enjoy it. One of the programs making a lot of those calls is UNLV, which has Spencer as one of its top priorities in the class of 2015.

On Thursday morning, Court 3 in the small gym at Bishop Gorman High separated two staffs very familiar with each other. At one baseline sat UNLV coach Dave Rice and assistant Todd Simon, right next to other coaches like UCLA’s Steve Alford. On the opposite end sat three Findlay Prep staff members, including new coach Andy Johnson, plus program founder and UNLV booster Cliff Findlay.

While sitting on the bench for his New Jersey-based Gym Rats team, Spencer could look to his right then his left to see his current and then possible future.

“I could see playing as a Rebel but not just yet,” Spencer said. “I’ve got to explore more of my options.”

A Warminster, Penn., native, Spencer has a lot of interest from East Coast schools like Georgetown and Seton Hall, plus other programs around the country such as Oklahoma State, Louisville and USC. He has taken unofficial visits to Temple and Seton Hall and plans to trim his list down and set up official visits after the summer season is over.

Like a lot of post players his age, Spencer said one of his main priorities right now is improving his ball handling and jump shot. He already has an array of post moves and at 6-foot-8 could be capable of playing a few different positions based on need.

The Rebels are pursuing a quartet of post players in the class of 2015, including Spencer, Elijah Thomas out of Texas and Bishop Gorman’s Stephen Zimmerman and Chase Jeter. Just like the Gorman duo, the bonus of Spencer playing just down the road at Findlay Prep is that both player and program are very familiar with each other.

Spencer attended several Rebels games with the Pilots last season, sitting in the section behind the backboard next to the students.

“Their fan section is crazy,” Spencer said.

This year when he’s able to attend games Spencer will see his friend and former teammate Rashad Vaughn, an incoming freshman who has seemingly taken Khem Birch’s mantle as top player recruiter. Vaughn already talked fellow freshman Jordan Cornish into signing and is also talking to Florida guard Corey Sanders and Thomas, among others.

Spencer has maintained that he wants to go to a place where he has a good relationship with the coaches and where he can play as a freshman. While the Rebels haven’t told him the latter is a guarantee, they’ve been persistent in their pursuit and done the next best thing.

“They’ve been honest with me, which I love,” Spencer said. “I love honesty.”

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

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