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‘Cats at the Combine Day Two: Villanova Players Impress in Scrimmages

Donte DiVincenzo and Omari Spellman continued to make a case for themselves as future NBA players Friday at the NBA Combine.

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

Shooting and scrimmaging were the focus of Friday’s NBA Combine action in Chicago as draft hopefuls looked to make an impression on scouts and team personnel. Villanova’s Donte DiVincenzo and Omari Spellman were among the large group remaining in the Windy City Friday, as several players, including Jalen Brunson, took off following interviews, measurements, and drills.

DiVincenzo and Spellman have been two of the most talked about participants since the combine began Wednesday. Curious as to whether the players were propped up by Jay Wright’s offensive machine, the two have been watched closely as front offices assess their impact at the next level.

Shooting Drills

Friday was Donte DiVincenzo’s turn to participate in the combine shooting drills. Spellman was involved in the shooting drills yesterday and we detailed his results here. The drills, which are split between spot-up and non-stationary exercises, are generally an ineffective measure of a player’s shooting ability at the next level but allow scouts to see mechanics up-close.

As with Spellman Thursday, DiVincenzo’s results were a mixed bag shooting the ball Friday. The Big East Sixth Man of the Year was on fire in the spot up shooting portion from fifteen feet, missing just two of his twenty-five shot attempts. He was solid if not unspectacular from NBA 3PT range, struggling from the left side of the arc.

During the non-stationary shooting drills, Villanova’s enigmatic shooting guard struggled to can his shots, shooting just 48.3% on-the-move from fifteen feet. He acquitted himself nicely following that performance, shooting well from the breaks and the top of the key.

Five-on-five Scrimmages

The scrimmages Friday were considerably more cohesive and therefore palatable to fans of basketball. The four squads exhibited a higher level of comfort on the court, and many of the potential draftees played within themselves and the simple system defined for them on the second day of action.

Day Two Scrimmage Stats

Donte DiVincenzo 26 4 10 1 6 0 0 2 7 3 1 4 0 9 12
Omari Spellman 26 6 9 1 2 2 3 4 9 5 2 3 1 15 13

The first five-on-five scrimmage of the day featured Omari Spellman playing with team Gray. On Thursday, Villanova’s center matched up with Udoka Azubuike in what was a rehashing of the Final Four game against Kansas. On Friday, Spellman took on Sagaba Konate of West Virginia as he moved back in time to the Sweet 16.

Spellman once again played very well in Team Gray’s win. After shooting the ball twelve times on Thursday, Spellman played more opportunistically Friday, making simple shots around the rim and hitting one of his two tries from NBA 3PT range on his way to an easy fifteen points. The most impressive aspect of Spellman’s performance was his play-making. The Big East Freshman of the Year notched five assists as he consistently moved the ball from the post to open shooters. Spellman never had more than three assists in any game this year for Villanova, so his facilitating likely impressed scouts.

Following the Combine, Spellman has added new interest for workouts with NBA teams...

Donte DiVincenzo was on the floor in the second scrimmage of the day playing with Team White. The National Championship Most Valuable Player shared ball-handling duties with the likes of Jevon Carter and Rawle Alkins but played smartly and under-control for the entirety of the game despite having little success shooting from distance. In his team’s win, DiVincenzo racked up nine points on ten shots, shooting just one of six from three. Villanova’s shooting guard made his presence felt despite the poor shooting, compiling seven rebounds, three assists and four steals. DiVincenzo consistently put pressure on the defense with his dribble drives and made a few spectacular plays to turn defense into offense.

Watching the games Friday, what stood out most for Villanova’s two participants was the high energy and consistent effort the two displayed on a play-by-play basis. Several times during combine coverage, coaches and scouts made note of Villanova and Jay Wright’s ability to produce great individuals, both on and off the court. Donte DiVincenzo and Omari Spellman continued this great Villanova tradition while giving NBA general managers plenty to think about as the May 30th decision deadline approaches.