In his first season with the program sophomore Spencer Levi has fit in nicely with his teammates and has been a key contributor for the UNCP men’s basketball team coming off the bench and has flourished in his role as the team’s newest “sixth” man.
The role was formerly occupied by the team’s lone senior this season in James Murray-Boyles, but with the senior now leading the charge in a more prominent role, Levi has filled in the role that basically equates to a starter rather seamlessly and with great success throughout the season.
Levi transferred in from Division III Dallas college where he piled up a bevy of accolades in his freshman campaign that included D3Hoops.com National Rookie of the Year, SCAC Newcomer of the year and SCAC Co-Defensive Player of the Year.
The 6ft. 7in. big bodied forward plays with a fiercely competitive attitude and has been extremely active in the paint has asserted his dominance around the glass when he checks into the game. He is currently second on the team in rebounds, blocks and is fifth in scoring.
“He’s got a great motor and energy to play the game. He brings us a physical presence, he runs the floor, defends, rebounds at a very high rate and he shoots. I think he leads the league in field goal percentage because he’s always attacking the basket,” said Head Coach Ben Miller.
Levi and many other players that don’t start but see plenty of minutes in the Braves rotation don’t believe that coming off of the bench casts and dispersions about their talent or ability to contribute because this year’s team is so deep and laden with talent.
“I feel like we’ve got eight or nine guys that are ability wise starters and they’re a very unselfish group that really doesn’t care too much about whether they start or come off the bench and not necessarily about the quantity of minutes it’s the quality,” said Miller. “You look at production per minute, we got a lot of guys like Spencer that are doing a lot with the minutes they do have, and we’re blessed to have that depth and unselfishness to with it.”
Levi averages about 18 minutes per game, nearly 10 points per game, almost six rebounds a game and his .646 shooting percentage from the field is by far the best on the team an among the leaders in the conference. His ability to maximize production and be an effective force when he enters the game has been a major boost and contributor to the Braves success this season.
“He goes 100 mph when he’s out there. He goes hard every play, every possession so the results of that are getting us buckets, rebound and defensively he’s a great presence out there as well. He does maximize those minutes and just gives us a lot with the time he does get,” said Coach.
The Braves coaching staff heard about Levi through a friend of assistant coach Drew Richards and after watching film and conducting some research that fielded deeper connections, with Levi’s high school coach being a long-time friend of Miller’s. They offered him a scholarship and he clicked well with the members of the team during his visit.
“He brought all the intangibles and we saw on film how hard he played, how he impacted the game on both ends of the floor. Once we did our homework on him, his character, his academics and he just really seemed like he has the whole package,” said Miller.
Levi does indeed appear to be the total package and a great all-around player whose future with the program looks very bright and full of promise. The Black and Gold continue to recruit and develop talent from all over the region and across the country to contribute to their sustained success.