Rivals to roomies: Skylar Spencer and Matt Shrigley

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Rivals to roomies: Skylar Spencer and Matt Shrigley

by Matthew Bain, Assistant Sports Editor

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Nowadays redshirt-sophomore Matt Shrigley is known as a 3-point marksman with a Ray-Allen-like stroke from long range.

Shrigley’s current teammate, junior forward Skylar Spencer, said that wasn’t necessarily the case when their respective AAU basketball club teams, Pump N Run and Team Jennings, would clash years ago.

Spencer said he’d see Shrigley constantly flashing his athleticism and dunking on his opponents, something San Diego basketball fans also remember from Shrigley’s days at La Costa Canyon High School.

But both players said there was a certain opponent the San Diego product failed to dunk on: Spencer, San Diego State’s all-time blocks leader.

“I hated Skylar for like five years because he’d always be in the middle of the key disrupting everything,” Shrigley said.

Spencer was much happier reminiscing about this aspect of the past than Shrigley was.

“It’s what I do,” Spencer said with a big smile. “And so it’s just funny that we’re good friends now.”

Both three-star athletes according to Rivals.com, Shrigley and Spencer joined junior forward Winston Shepard as SDSU’s three freshman recruits entering the 2012-13 season.

Spencer said it’s customary for freshmen on the basketball team to room together, but Shepard chose to live on his own, so 19-year-old Shrigley and 18-year-old Spencer, who were at the time acquaintances from their AAU battles, lived together.

They still do three years later.

“We just have so much in common,” Spencer said. “And you know when you live with somebody you learn a lot about them, and I haven’t really found anything crazy about (Shrigley).”

Anyone who’s set foot on campus in the last three years knows that it’s not at all uncommon to see the two walking together on campus as often as they can be seen high-fiving and sitting next to each other on the bench at SDSU basketball games.

“We don’t have classes together, so that’s about the only time we don’t see each other,” Shrigley said. “We see each other at practice, go get some food after practice, then we go to tutoring together and then we go back home together. So I see Skylar for about 90 percent of my day, and we’ve never fought in our lives.”

Wait — never fought?

“We get along, we don’t argue, we just have a lot of things in common,” Spencer said. “I like him because he’s kind of like me. He’s not the opposite of me or anything, so we just fit in perfectly.”

Not even certain annoying habits that bother you even though you love the guy?

“He doesn’t really do anything annoying,” Shrigley said with a laugh. “I can’t make one (annoying habit) up.”

The two rivals-turned-roommates learned yesterday that their team earned the No. 8 seed in the South region of the 2015 NCAA Tournament and are slated for a first-game matchup against the No. 9 seed, St. John’s University.

“This program is on a big uprising,” Spencer said after watching the Selection Sunday show with Shrigley and his teammates in the Fowler Athletic Center. “Every year, we strive for better and better so hopefully we advance what we did last year … I’m just blessed that we’re in the tournament. Numbers don’t really matter. You just have to go out there and play.”

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