Former School: Duquesne
New School: Georgetown
Years Remaining: Three
Recruiting Ranking: Unranked
2021-22 Stats: 12.7 ppg/2.5 rpg/3.0 apg/32.2 mpg; 36.7%/39.1%/74.5%
Amir “Primo” Spears burst onto the scene last year as a freshman, starting 28 of the team’s 30 games and leading the Dukes in scoring despite being unranked out of high school. This year, he’ll join the Hoyas as part of their seven-player transfer class. He should immediately become a frontrunner for best name in the Big East.
The Hartford, CT, native picked Georgetown over other high major schools, including Xavier and Seton Hall.
Spears ended his freshman year on a high note. He set career-high point totals in his last two regular season games, putting up 25 points at George Washington and then 34 points against La Salle in the season finale. He followed that up with 30 points in a loss to Rhode Island in the A10 tournament.
What’s His Game?
Spears often ran the point for the Dukes where he had success. He posted an assist rate of 20.3 percent as a freshman, and that rate ticked up to 21.9 in conference play. That was good enough to finish 14th in the A10. While that was coupled with a turnover rate of 15.1 percent, he showed true playmaking skill, especially off of high screens.
Spears is a true combo guard, comfortable playing both on and off the ball.— Matt St. Jean (@mattstdream) July 18, 2022
As a point guard, he's a playmaker with an assist rate of over 20% as a freshman.
He reads rollers off high screens very well, like he did here for the easy bucket. pic.twitter.com/Lh4LUG4ooF
The turnovers are absolutely a problem for Spears, but he’s still young. That’s an area where he’ll have an opportunity to improve this season.
Spears will have much better teammates at Georgetown than he did at Duquesne, where the offense was legitimately painful to watch at points. That better talent will create more space in the offense, and it will result in more opportunities being finished.
He will spend plenty of time at the point next year for the Hoyas where he'll have better teammates to help him finish than he did at Duquesne.— Matt St. Jean (@mattstdream) July 18, 2022
It was infuriating to watch him make passes his teammates couldn't finish last year. This will look better when he passes to Wahab. pic.twitter.com/cG8Mui8hyq
Spears also excelled on defense as a freshman, finishing the year second on the team in steals. He is an aggressive help defender, and he like to hunt for steals from the weak side. His ability to match up one-on-one will be tested in the Big East, but he and Brandon Murray together should be able to harass ball handlers.
We're going to start with his defense. Spears (23) made an impact for Duquesne last season as a help defender, where he could be aggressive and hunt the ball.— Matt St. Jean (@mattstdream) July 18, 2022
On this play, he knocks the ball away from behind to jumpstart a quality transition opportunity. pic.twitter.com/UqimiqSfsf
He had 6 steals in this game, including breaking up this entry pass.— Matt St. Jean (@mattstdream) July 18, 2022
Spears then took advantage of the mismatch in transition to create space for a jumper. pic.twitter.com/9DQ6G71xtI
As a scorer, Spears was inconsistent and inefficient at times last year. He’s a good free throw shooter, but he hit less than 37 percent of his shots from the field. Now that he is on a better team, Spears should see more space on the floor and be asked to do less (he attempted 12.6 field goals per game). He also took a lot of his shots from the mid-range. His development path should include finding higher quality looks by either getting to the rim or finding a consistent 3-point shot.
That mid-range jump shot is one Spears likes a lot. Although he's a 3-level scorer, a plurality of his shots came from the 2nd level. pic.twitter.com/N88BUsyDZU— Matt St. Jean (@mattstdream) July 18, 2022
He has his work to do on the 3 (30-100), but he can hit the open ones. pic.twitter.com/yNl4t7XOw6— Matt St. Jean (@mattstdream) July 18, 2022
What’s His Role?
While Dante Harris is the presumed starting point guard, Spears may push for the role.
Having seen Dante Harris yesterday, and with Primo Spears once again having a strong performance today, I find it hard not to handicap Spears as the current favorite to start at point guard for Georgetown this season.— Hilltop Hoops (@HilltopHoops_) July 17, 2022
Regardless of who wins the job, Spears should see plenty of playing time next year. The chemistry he has built with Brandon Murray should help with that. Both he and Murray are opportunistic defenders, and having them both on the floor at once could result in a high-tempo offense that thrives off turnovers and in transition.
Due to his athleticism, it’s unclear just how high his ceiling could be. Spears will have three years to spend with Georgetown, and, based on his freshman year performance, he is capable of developing into a legitimate starting guard in the Big East. There will be questions about level of competition coming from the A10, but Spears should see a corresponding increase in level of play from the team around him.
Spears should be a role player at minimum next season with starter upside.