Hometown: North Royalton, Ohio
High School: St. Thomas More (Conn.)
If you had told me, a year and a half ago, that’d I’d be tap-dancing to fill space in Omari Spellman’s 2017-2018 player preview because (A) he was still at Villanova and (B) he had no stats to post from 2016-2017, I wouldn't have believed you. But, here we are.
We all know the story and will pass it down to our grandchildren while simultaneously advising them not to repeat eighth grade (unless UNC co-eds are also present in the class). We don’t need to rehash it. We don’t need to get angry again. We do, however, need to focus on a 20 year old who took a terribly unfair situation and turned it into (by all accounts) an overwhelming positive.
Right off the bat, you will notice that Spellman is listed as 15 lbs. lighter than the start of last season and has reportedly lost over 40 lbs. since arriving on campus. He clearly took his “off-season” conditioning seriously and, based on reports coming out of Villanova’s early practices, he’s in great shape.
The hype surrounding Spellman stems from his versatility on offense and his high basketball I.Q. While he can bang inside with the best of them, he also possesses a solid jump shot and good vision, which allows him to float to areas to different areas of the floor to create multiple shooting options. While we’ve typically shoehorned a 3 or 4 into a 5, here we have the chance to utilize a true 5 as a 3 or a 4 depending on the scheme and defense. That’s insane, people. Gimme all the dunks.
Best case scenario
The best case scenario for Spellman is simultaneously the worst for anyone that wants to watch him next year. Spellman was billed as a potential one-and-done before he arrived on campus and, now a year older, is going to come out with something to prove. I think Omari Spellman lives up to the hype and plays as the most dominant big-man of the Jay Wright era. With his versatility, he’s able to force the defense to track him more than they would the average big man, which opens up the floor. While we ultimately only see him on the Main Line for one year, Spellman becomes an elite offensive weapon in a position where Villanova has typically settled for defense.
Worst case scenario
The worst case here is the worst case for any player about to come in and play their first season of college basketball. We’ve seen how Jay tends to bring big men along slowly but, with someone with the pedigree and skills of Spellman, that’s not really a luxury Jay has (or needs to have). That being said, Villanova’s defensive schemes take some time to learn and the pace, size, and athleticism of the college game can always be an adjustment for young big men. Spellman is a special talent though and it’s likely his skills on offense will outweigh any hiccups on defense as he comes along.
The Wisdom of Crowds Returns
We are pleased to bring back our Wisdom of Crowds experiment for the 2017-2018 season. In this series, we ask that you consider the points covered in our player preview to supplement your own personal insights and instincts to predict the points per game each scholarship player on the roster we score in the upcoming season.
How many points per game will Omari Spellman average this year?
This poll is closed
Less than 6
Greater than 12