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Spieth ’17 flirts with triple-double in win over Niagara

Dallas native paired career-high 27 points with 10 rebounds, nine assists against Eagles Sunday

After a tough loss against Cincinnati Friday, the men’s basketball team (1-2) looked to bounce back against the Niagara Purple Eagles (0-3) at home Sunday. Led by veteran captain and four-year starter Steven Spieth ’17, Bruno did just that, besting the Eagles in an 88-79 contest.

Spieth posted a dominant stat line of 27 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists en route to Bruno’s first win of the season.

With one more assist, Spieth would have recorded just the third ever triple-double in Ivy League history.

An all-around player who can drive to the basket, thread the needle to a teammate and splash from beyond the arc, the 6-foot-6 senior from Dallas, Texas can punish the opposition in numerous ways.

For his powerful performance, Spieth has been named The Herald’s Athlete of the Week. 

Herald: As a senior captain, how are you mentoring the younger guys on the team?

Spieth: Just trying to lead by example I’d say is the biggest thing. … It’s not easy transitioning from high school to college in any aspect — but especially basketball. It’s a faster-paced game, and it’s kind of tough to get used to. I just try to be there when anybody needs anything.

What do you think is the strongest part of your game?

I think the diversity of my game. I can shoot it; I can get to the rim; I can dish; I can rebound — I try to do it all. If a team is trying to stop one thing, then (I can) just move on to whatever is next, and hopefully that’s working.

What are your individual goals for the season?

I just want to keep improving. I had a good couple of first games, especially the last game. I’m planning to try to play next year overseas. Accomplishing our team goals will help me accomplish any individual goals that I have, so I’m just going to stay aggressive, and hopefully that will help us win more games.

Why did you choose to come to Brown?

A mix between athletics and academics for sure. Obviously with academics, it doesn’t get much better. And then (we have) a young coaching staff. They really gave me a chance right away. They basically told me that I would be able to come in and play right away. And getting to start four years isn’t very common, so that’s been great.

Had you ever recorded a triple-double in high school?

I don’t know. I don’t think I ever did in a high school game. I know I have in summer league games, in (Amateur Athletic Union basketball) games. To be honest, I didn’t even know until after the game Sunday that I was. I mean I knew I was probably getting close to it because I had five or six assists early in the second half, but I didn’t know until after the game when the coaches were telling me. I wish they had told me (during the game). Apparently the assistant coaches knew it, but they didn’t tell (Head Coach Mike Martin ’04).

Did you play other sports growing up?

Yeah, me and my brother both played everything. We played baseball (and) soccer. I played indoor hockey for a little bit — it’s hard to believe that’s in Texas.

When did you decide that basketball was your sport?

I guess it was freshman year of high school. I was thinking about playing football in high school and playing baseball. I was ranked in the top 15 to 20 in the state for my age group (in basketball), so I figured this is my best shot to be able to have a good college career.

How did growing up with your brother (professional golfer Jordan Spieth) shape you as an athlete?

I think it definitely helped. We’re both really competitive in our separate sports — especially growing up, we were extremely competitive toward each other. So I think it helped me harden my competitive edge for sure.

Have you ever dunked on your brother?

(Laughter) Nah, I don’t think so. He hasn’t played me in a while. Last time we played I think I was in eighth grade, and he was a sophomore in high school. And he beat me, so he won’t play me again.

Do you play golf with him ever?

Yeah for sure. Not for a score. We just play for fun.

If you could be a professional athlete in a sport besides basketball, what would you play?

Starting pitcher, for sure. You pitch one out of every five games and then play golf the rest of the time. It’s the best job in the world.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.


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