Omari Spellman Scouting Report


  • Omari Spellman was the 18th-ranked prospect in the 2016 high school class[1].
  • Through 15 games this season, the six-foot-nine stretch big has averaged 16.3 points per 40 minutes on 54.8% effective shooting and 12.1 rebounds per 40 minutes[2].
  • The 20-year-old[3] is a multi-dimensional scorer who gets his touches in the post one-on-one and from three-point range on spot-ups and out of the pick-and-pop.
    • He’s taking about a third of his shots from each zone[4].
  • Spellman has a 245-pound frame[5] and iffy agility out in space. With that as the case, the red shirt freshman plays center on defense. He is not an explosive leaper but his length and general size around the basket have made him an effective interior defender.
  • He was not ranked on ESPN’s top 100 as of December, 12th.


  • Spellman has a large frame but doesn’t play with a lot of force looking to set up deep seals in the low block, as he seems more comfortable getting the ball in the mid-post instead.
  • But he does use his strength on power moves backing down less physically imposing opponents for looks within close range. He doesn’t get a lot of lift leaping off two feet and his touch on turnaround hooks is iffy.
  • Spellman has not yet shown a particularly diverse set of post moves working his man out of position with shot fakes, head fakes and spin moves. He doesn’t have particularly light feet either.
  • Spellman has shown a strong preference for catching, turning, facing, sizing up his man and jab-stepping before rising up for no-dribble jumpers over his defender. He gets good elevation and fully extends himself for a high release, aside from showing nice touch in his jumper for someone his size.
    • He’s nailed 45.2% of his 42 two-point jumpers this season.
  • Spellman has flashed a face-up drive if his defender plays up on him but lacks coordination and handle getting all the way to the basket in a position of strength.
  • He is yet to show much in terms of court vision passing out of the post – assisting on just 4.1% of Villanova’s scores over his 382 minutes.


  • Spellman regularly spots-ups beyond the arc, freeing up the post for Jalen Brunson as Villanova inverts the offense. He catches the ball on the hop, gets more elevation than he perhaps should given his size, has a high release and shows good touch on his shot.
    • He’s nailed 46.5% of his 43 three-point shots, at a pace of 4.5 such looks per 40 minutes.
    • He’s also made 18 of his 26 free throws.
  • Spellman has shown some ability to make shots out of the pick-and-pop as well. He is a good screener who looks to make contact, can set his feet quickly and has a reasonably fluid release for someone his size.


  • Spellman can’t play above the rim as a target for lobs and usually pops to the three-point line or rolls into post-up position off ball-screens.
  • He isn’t an explosive leaper off two feet in traffic – converting his 41 shots at the basket at a 48.8% clip.
  • Spellman doesn’t play with a high motor and doesn’t have a quick second jump but can set inside position when he translates his size into toughness and has a seven-foot-two wingspan to rebound outside his area.
    • He’s collected 12.6% of Villanova’s misses when he’s been on the floor.
    • But lacking the explosiveness to go back up strong off two feet, he’s converted his 16 putback attempts at only a 40% clip.


  • Spellman is not always attentive to his help-defense responsibilities rotating off the weak-side or stepping up to the front of the basket in rim protection. He also doesn’t play with a lot of energy looking to challenge everything he is close by. Despite his size, he doesn’t act as a deterrent.
  • But when well positioned, Spellman has been an effective interior defender thanks to his length and general size. Though he is not an explosive leaper, he has gone up to contest shots via verticality and has blocked shots in volume at the collegiate level – averaging 2.5 blocks per 40 minutes.
  • Spellman has plenty of strength to hold his ground in stout post defense but isn’t always attentive to his boxout responsibilities. He has a big rebounding area and decent instincts chasing the ball off the rim, though – collecting 22.6% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor.
  • Villanova switches aggressive across all ball-screens and Spellman has found himself on smaller players every now and again. He bends his knees to get down enough in a stance but lacks lateral quickness to be an effective perimeter defender, unable slide multiple times to stay in front in isolation or cover a lot in a pinch recovering to block or contest shots from behind.
  • Spellman is asked to extend pick-and-roll coverage above the foul line often but isn’t suited for it, lacking agility out in space to act as anything more than a traffic cone.
  • He is also unable to closeout to the three-point line effectively, so he isn’t suited for guarding shooting big men either.
  • Spellman ranks second on the team in defensive rating among rotation players[6].

[1] According to

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] DOB: 7/21/1997

[4] According to hoop-math

[5] According to Villanova’s official listing

[6] According to sports-reference

READ MORE: Brady Manek | Wenyen Gabriel | Wendell Carter, Jr.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara


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