Leading up the season we are doing a countdown of the Top 100 players in college basketball. These rankings are based on a poll made up of 14 CPP writers. These writers span from UCLA to Seton Hall so there is very little bias. Each day we will release the latest player on our ranking with a small write-up. Be sure to check out the rest of the Top 100 articles!
2016-2017 Stats: None (Freshman)
Why They Are Here
Perhaps the most intriguing what-if of Villanova’s 2016-17 season centered on what the Wildcats would have looked like had five-star freshman Omari Spellman been eligible to play. Unfortunately, he was ruled ineligible by the NCAA due to complications over when he began his freshman year of high school. With the eligibility debacle behind him, and an added year of college level practices, Spellman will return to the court looking to dominate out of the gate. For a power forward, Spellman is an elite scorer. His 275 pound frame only adds to the terror he can reign once the ball is tipped. When he first arrived on campus last fall, head coach Jay Wright was worried about Spellman’s conditioning but after a year of workouts, those worries have seemed to fade.
Role on This Year’s Team
Spellman will be given the keys to the castle right out of the gate. Almost guaranteed a starting role, the Wildcats will look to utilize Spellman’s inside presence to take some pressure off of Jalen Brunson in the back court. Spellman will also have to focus on the defensive side of the game if he wants to truly become an elite player.
College Season/NBA Prospects
The power forward from Cleveland, Ohio currently has very little draft stock for the 2018 draft but with a stellar freshman season, he could catch the eye of many NBA scouts who want an elite inside scorer. If Spellman can improve his defense he will force NBA teams to take a look at him in future drafts.
Be sure to check out tomorrow’s Top 100 player.