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Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Geoff Sprouse takes his three point shooting to new levels in his sophomore campaign

Sprouse has built on his successful freshman season with even better shooting

In college basketball, playing time for freshmen is never guaranteed, even for highly touted recruits. However, with the right circumstances freshmen could have the opportunity to demonstrate their value.

During his freshman season, Geoff Sprouse, now a sophomore guard at American University, was thrust into a starting role after junior guard Colin Smalls suffered an injury early in the 2022-2023 season. 

Sprouse, a 6’0” three-point shooter, made an immediate impact. He averaged 7.8 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.2 steals per game, shooting 33.1% from beyond the arc. As a freshman, the quick shooting guard was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week two times thanks to impressive scoring performances. Sprouse notably scored 25 points in a game against the University at Albany in 2022. 

As a freshman, Sprouse had to adjust to starting after previously coming off the bench.

“I didn't expect it at all,” Sprouse said. “The way I did not let that affect me was just go in there, do what I do every game, just take it one step at a time, not really necessarily thinking about anything or anyone saying anything that could affect what I do on the court. Just play my game.”

Now in his sophomore year, Sprouse continues to excel as one of the top shooters in the Patriot League, currently ranked 10th in three-point percentage at 38.3. He is averaging 8.9 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game this season. Sprouse's ability to create three-point opportunities for himself and his compatibility with playmaking junior guard Elijah Stephens make him a valuable asset. In November, he scored a career-high 26 points in a win against Hood College, going 7-13 from three-point range.

Jordan Gaitley, the director of operations for AU men’s basketball, is impressed by Sprouse’s growth as a three point shooter.

“He's one of the best shooters, if not the best shooter in the conference. Shoots, fluctuating between 38, 40% from three. He gets it off quick,” Gaitley said.

Sprouse also uses his quickness on the defensive end.  

“Defensively, I’m usually on one of the point guards or the shooting guards, not letting them drive past me or get open shots on me. And I'm quick, so I move my feet,” Sprouse said.

Before making his mark at AU, Sprouse distinguished himself at Pembroke Pines Charter High School in Pembroke Pines, Florida. He helped lead his team to a 2021 FHSHAA Class 5A State Championship and received accolades such as Broward’s Player of the Year for 7A-5A from the Miami Herald. Sprouse scored 1,500 points during his illustrious high school career

Sprouse feels that his time at Pembroke Pines made him the college player that he is today. 

“[In] three out of four years, we had only three losses,” Sprouse said. “So, playing against and with a bunch of high level talent really prepared me for becoming DI and playing at American.”

Sprouse also participated in AAU basketball, playing for teams like SOH Elite and the adidas-sponsored Team Florida. Throughout his AAU career, Sprouse garnered interest from colleges and eventually narrowed down his choices to Stony Brook University and AU.

Sprouse was recruited by former AU head coach Mike Brennan who parted ways with the school after the 2022-2023 season. During the recruiting process, Sprouse appreciated the freedom that Brennan wanted to give him as a shooter.

“He [Brennan] was saying ‘the way our offense is set, you're going be taking a lot of shots. I expect you to miss shots. I expect you to take long range shots, but I know you can shoot the ball,’” Sprouse said.

During his time at AU, Sprouse has formed strong bonds with his teammates and has used the advice that the upperclassmen have given him.

“The main goal is to win a Patriot League championship,” Sprouse said. “So, if I'm not scoring the ball like I usually do or I'm having a bad game, they just tell me to keep my head up, just focus on the next game.”

This article was edited by Penelope Jennings, Delaney Hoke and Abigail Pritchard. Copy editing done by Luna Jinks and Liah Argiropoulos.

sports@theeagleonline.com 


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