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Spencer Mahoney scouting report

What could be the penultimate grab for the upcoming season.

NCAA Basketball: UCLA at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Washington State Men’s Basketball landed one of the last open recruits of the 2023 high school class when Spencer Mahoney committed in early June.

Mahoney is a 6’8, 230-pound forward from Brooklyn, New York. He played high school ball for St. Benedict Prep, and his EYBL games with the PSA Cardinals. Mahoney is a strong forward who projects to fill a 3-and-D role for the Cougs moving forward. Mahoney was listed as a three-star recruit, which seems fair given his profile and offers.


Stat breakdowns are sometimes hard for players like Mahoney, in part because stats are hard to find, and because the sample sizes tend to be small. There is something intriguing to look at with Mahoney- across 13 EYBL games last summer, Mahoney averaged 8.2 points per game and 3.2 rebounds while shooting 41% from the field and 23.5% from deep, on a lot of attempts.

The interesting thing with Mahoney is that his effectiveness took a huge jump from his final EYBL season to the 2022 National Prep Showcase. Cerebro Sports uses a stat called 3-point effectiveness to give a one-number metric by which to judge outside shooting, and across his three EYBL events he topped out at a 52 3PE, but at the Prep Showcase, he reached 93. His usage rate, defensive stat impact, at-rim numbers, and overall scoring prowess were all notably better too.


The first thing that pops up when watching Mahoney is his size and strength. He is a big 6’8, he might even cross into the 6’9 range in time, and that combines with pretty great lower and upper-body strength to make him an effective forward in terms of size and strength. He uses his strength in a variety of ways, especially on the boards. It is easy to get shades of Andrej Jakimovski when watching Mahoney rebound- and his combination of strength, motor, and feel for positioning help project him as a solid rebounder from the wing spot.

His strength also helps him defensively when guarding in the post. It might take him time to actualize it, being that high-school strong and Pac-12 strong are two different things, but he should be able to handle post-up bigs fairly well in due time.

The defense is a bit of a mixed bag for Mahoney, though. His lack of lateral and vertical explosion make the margin for error virtually nonexistent. While the strength helps him cover up some of his lateral deficiencies, it’s insufficient, and Mahoney struggles on the perimeter. He leaves a lot of space for ball-handlers to walk into shots or create fairly easy looks and that will be a problem when guarding most of the premier wing scorers in the Pac.

His lack of athleticism also hurts his defense. He struggles to get vertical enough to make plays as a low-man and he can’t explode well enough to get into passing lanes. He also fouls more than he should because he only wants to contest shots with his right-hand, which leaves him susceptible to strong attacks toward his left. However, he does have a good feel for rotations, which reminds me of how effective Jakimovski has become as a rotator despite his athletic deficiencies. Mahoney has similar strength and similar (though slightly less developed) instincts and that could work wonders in time.

Offensively, his main sell is the jumper. There have been inconsistencies there, but he definitely projects as a plus-shooter at the next level. The release is quick and smooth, with a bit of a flick at the end that makes it look a little wonky, but there is nothing to dislike about his mechanics. The touch is also pretty good and he has proven to be able to hit shots from deeper and deeper ranges. The versatility upside is a bit in question, he needs a lot of rhythm to consistently hit shots and he struggles when trying to shoot off even simple movement and especially off the dribble.

Simply being 6’8 and a good shooter is almost enough to be an offensive positive in college, but there is some more there to build on. He will occasionally try to post-up, and his touch and strength could make that an option against switches, but most of those opportunities result in fadeaways with diminishing returns. If he can develop some more options, it could become more viable.

Despite not being super explosive vertically, Mahoney is productive as a cutter and finisher. He has a great feel for maneuvering around the paint and finding angles to get shots up. His length allows him to reach around defenders and his touch is good enough to make up for his lack of above rim finishing. While not something that will be a huge part of his game, it is a nice added boost to his off-ball game.

He is more of a ball-mover than a playmaker when it comes to passing, but he does well there. He is a quick decision-maker who wants to get the ball to his teammates as fast as possible. This is a nice quirk, but he lacks the versatility with the ball to be a real threat.

There is maybe an untapped role for him as a screener and I’d like to see that explored. He is strong and effective as both a shooter and finisher, which could extend to him being solid as both a roll-man and a pop-guy. The shot would have to improve a little bit and his lack of vertical explosion would hurt, but there are some potential wrinkles that can be added to his game there.


Mahoney is not someone who will likely factor heavily into the rotation early, but his size and shooting makes him fairly high-floor and he could play spot minutes earlier than expected. His upside is not as any type of star, but he could be an excellent role-player at the 4 in time. Shooting, rotational defense, ball-movement, and potential as a roll-man are all things that give him something to build on moving forward. Check out some of his stuff below!

And, like last report, I’ve attached some of my personal notes for what I noticed. Check it out:

Scouting Notes


  • Shot definitely looks clean, smooth release with comfortable touch
  • Comfortable shooting from very deep
  • Struggling to hit shots with even slight movement, drifts to the corner or rises over screens are throwing his rhythm way off
  • Did not play with very good passers which effected his ability to get open shots
  • Cannot hit a shot if he hesitates, needs the confidence to get right into it or his rhythm is off


  • Takes a major load to not get very high when jumping
  • Pretty slow even at his top speed
  • Ok lateral first-step but nothing when trying to explode downhill


  • Sits in a stance alright defensively
  • Solid low-man help but not really making plays, just good at being in the way
  • Best trying to contain defensively on the ball. Gives a lot of space because he doesn’t trust his recovery tools on that end
  • Fouls quite a bit out on the perimeter
  • Not completely flat-footed on D, shows some upside there. Executes well on the perimeter even given the mediocre athleticism


  • Doesn’t dribble much at all, just trying to move the ball most times
  • Very right-handed, always putting the ball on the ground with his right and not trying to hit many moves
  • Ok decision-maker but limited passing vocabulary
  • Makes some nice standstill passes

What are you most excited about for the upcoming batch of newcomers? Go Cougs!