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‘Cats at the Combine: How Villanova’s Potential Draftees Performed Thursday

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Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo and Omari Spellman were front and center during Thursday’s NBA Combine coverage.

2018 NBA Draft Combine - Day 1 Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The mostly trivial but undeniably entertaining NBA Combine finished its second day yesterday in Chicago. The event, which puts players through measurement tests, drills and scrimmages, featured three Villanova Wildcats: Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo and Omari Spellman.

Brunson, who will graduate this spring and has achieved all there is to achieve as a Wildcat, has signed an agent and will enter the draft. DiVincenzo and Spellman, however have not officially entered June’s draft and have until May 30th to make their decision.

Measurables

Invasive but informative, the combine measures various physical attributes of potential draft entrants. The full breakdown can be found here, while a sample of how Villanova’s players measured is below.

Anthropometric Stats

Player Height (w/shoes) Weight Wingspan
Player Height (w/shoes) Weight Wingspan
Jalen Brunson 6' 2.25" 198.4 6' 4"
Donte DiVincenzo 6' 4.5" 200.6 6' 6"
Omari Spellman 6' 9.25" 253.8 7' 2"

Well, there they are. Spellman is pretty big, DiVincenzo fits the profile of a combo guard, and Brunson is undersized (like that’s ever stopped him).

Strength and Agility

Forty players participated in the agility drills on Thursday including all three Wildcats. The tests, which measure a draftee’s change in direction, straight line speed, and jumping ability, provide quantifiable metrics for NBA team personnel to consult when evaluating players. Or scouts put no stock in them - Your guess is as good as mine.

Strength and Agility Stats

Player Lane Agiltity Rank Shuttle Run Rank Three Quarter Sprint Rank Standing Vertical Rank Max Vertical Rank
Player Lane Agiltity Rank Shuttle Run Rank Three Quarter Sprint Rank Standing Vertical Rank Max Vertical Rank
Jalen Brunson 10.59 3 3.1 11 3.15 13 29.0" 23 37.0" 15
Donte DiVincenzo 10.72 5 3.11 12 3.11 8 34.5" 1 42.0" 1
Omari Spellman 12.28 38 3.34 34 3.38 37 28.5" 25 35.5" 20

It’s not surprising to see Donte DiVincenzo at or near the top of all of the agility tests. The Big East Sixth Man of the Year plays above the rim and showcased those talents all season and on the biggest stage. Achieving the best mark for standing and max vertical leap is impressive nonetheless, and it should help prove to scouts that DiVincenzo has the athleticism to compete at the next level.

More surprisingly, Jalen Brunson finished in the top half of many of the agility drills. The Wooden Award winner’s draft profile often features a brief discussion of Brunson not having “all the physical tools” or something of that nature, but his quickness was on display when he finished third in the Lane Agility test. Brunson is most valuable to teams as a floor general and scorer, but putting up impressive test numbers can only help his stock.

Shooting Drills

The combine shooting drills are split between spot-up and non-stationary drills. Like a prospective college quarterback throwing perfect passes in shorts, the shooting drills at the combine provide little context for how a player will shoot in a live game setting, with real defenders and real stakes.

Omari Spellman was the only Villanova player to participate in the shooting tests on Thursday. In the spot-up shooting portion, Spellman performed well from fifteen feet but showed some struggles shooting from the NBA 3PT line. His shot was a mixed bag in the off-the-dribble portion of the exercise, in the end finishing at 60.0% from fifteen feet, good for eleventh out of twenty. The shooting drills will continue Friday for Villanova’s big man.

Five-on-five Scrimmage

The five-on-five full court scrimmages are the highlight of the combine despite the generally poor quality of play exhibited. The potential draftees are randomly split up and assigned teams, and their lack of familiarity with one another is painfully on display during the frenetic, back-and-forth affair.

Scrimmage Stats

Player Min FGM FGA 3P 3PA FT FTA ORB REB AST TOV STL BLK PTS +/-
Player Min FGM FGA 3P 3PA FT FTA ORB REB AST TOV STL BLK PTS +/-
Donte DiVincenzo 23 3 6 2 3 0 0 0 6 2 3 2 0 8 5
Omari Spellman 25 4 12 1 4 0 0 7 12 1 0 0 3 9 -7

Omari Spellman and Donte DiVincenzo participated in the scrimmages, coincidentally facing off against one another in the first session. Spellman was all over the court, at times for better, other times for worse. The Big East Freshman of the Year displayed toughness and played hard throughout, grabbing seven offensive rebounds and twelve in total. Spellman defended the rim as well, stuffing three shots. The jumper wasn’t exactly falling for the Villanova big man Thursday however, as he was only able to hit four of his twelve shots (one three) for a total of nine points.

Donte DiVincenzo had a chance to handle the ball and play in his natural combo-guard role during the scrimmage. Villanova’s shooting guard showed the flashes of greatness and the concerning decision making ‘Nova fans have come to expect watching the sophomore this season. Delaware Jordan, fittingly wearing number 23, made an impact all over the court, scoring eight points and securing six defensive rebounds while adding two assists and two blocks. DiVincenzo, like many during the scrimmage, struggled to play with his new teammates, forcing passes and turning the ball over three times.

The televised portion of the combine continues today at 3:00 PM on ESPN and will feature Omari Spellman and Donte DiVincenzo in more scrimmages.