Omari Spellman Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Omari Spellman averaged 15.4 points per 40 minutes[1] on 57.3% effective shooting and posted a 19.5 PER in 40 appearances last season[2].
  • Villanova played the sixth-toughest schedule in the country[3] and had a +27.3 pace-adjusted point differential in Spellman’s 1,125 minutes[4].
  • The six-foot-nine stretch big was a vital part of Villanova’s offense, which often relied on lead guard Jalen Brunson taking his matchup into the post while Spellman vacated the area near the basket by spacing out to the three-point line.
    • Despite logging all of his minutes at center, Spellman took 44.6% of his shots from three-point range.
    • Despite possessing a strength advantage on most nights, given his thick 245-pound frame[5], he posted a low 18.3% usage rate.
  • On the other end, the 20-year-old[6] was an effective rim protector when well positioned and flashed some ability to defend out in space – extending pick-and-roll coverage slightly above the foul line and picking up smaller players on switches, but doesn’t really move in a way that makes you presume he will be as capable in the pros.
  • Other than his two years of college basketball, one of which he redshirted, the Ohio native only has 71 minutes at the 2014 Nike Global Challenge of meaningful experience under his belt.

OFFENSE

  • Spellman has proven to be a pretty good shooter for someone his size. He has a fluid release and good touch, launching the ball from a high point and getting his shots off comfortably over closeouts.
    • Other than spot-ups, Spellman has shown he’s able to take three-pointers out of the pick-and-pop as well, proving himself nimble enough to screen, relocate to an open spot and set his feet quickly.
    • Spellman nailed 43.3% of his 150 three-point shots, at a pace of 5.3 such attempts per 40 minutes – which is a very appealing rate for a center.
    • He converted 70% of his 70 foul shots – which is not necessarily concerning, but gives you some pause over how killer a shooter he truly is.
  • Spellman hasn’t yet developed a lot of dexterity in terms of handle and coordination attacking closeouts. When forced to put the ball on the floor out of triple threat position, he often ends up dribbling into a post-up, which is how he feels more comfortable with the ball in his hands.
  • Spellman showed a decent mix of power moves and face-up shooting operating out of the mid-post (he enjoys sizing up his man, jab-stepping and launching no-dribble jumpers), though he still has plenty of room to improve in terms of passing out of the block and incorporating pivot moves and fakes into his post-up routine.
    • He hit 42.2% of his 90 two-point shots away from the basket, with over half of them unassisted[7].
    • He assisted on just 4.3% of Villanova’s scores when he was on the floor.
  • When he screened at the point of attack, Spellman was either asked to prioritize popping to the three-point line or isn’t easily inclined to roll hard to the basket. And even when he did, Spellman didn’t show enough explosiveness to play above the rim as a target for lobs, though he flashed appealing coordination in instances when he was forced to catch, take a dribble for balance and go up for a non-dunk finish over a defender between him and the basket.
    • He took just 28.6% of his shots at the rim and hasn’t yet developed versatility to his finishing ability – converting just 59.4% of his 96 shots at the basket.
  • Considering his role on the offense, Spellman was fairly effective in the offensive glass. He doesn’t play with a lot of energy and isn’t a high leaper but is a big body that can be tough to boxout and has a seven-foot-two wingspan[8] to rebound outside of his area or win battles for tap-outs.
    • He collected 9.9% of Villanova’s misses when he was on the floor.
    • But doesn’t have a quick second jump to translate these second chances into immediate scores – finishing his 37 putback at a very lousy 43.8% clip.

DEFENSE

  • Spellman is a so-so pick-and-roll defender.
    • At times, he was able to keep action in front dropping back to prioritize interior defense and moved his feet decently in tight spaces to clog driving lanes.
    • When asked to hedge-and-recover, Spellman struggled to influence the ball handler and then hustle back to the roll man quick enough to relieve the weak-side help-defender and not leave a shooter uncovered for too long.
    • Villanova switched quite aggressively and Spellman had to pick up a smaller player from time-to-time, proving he’s attentive enough to execute strategies that asked him to switch on the fly. He is not built to be able to stay in front of shifty types side-to-side but is able to keep pace on straight line drives decently enough to challenge or block shots from behind.
  • Spellman is also a so-so help defender.
    • Spellman is not always attentive to his responsibilities rotating off the weak-side or stepping up to the front of the basket in rim protection. He is also not very quick covering ground when put in long rotations. Despite his size, he is not very feared.
    • But when well positioned, Spellman was a reasonably effective rim protector. He is a big body that can be challenging to finish around when he’s standing between the opponent and the basket. He’s also pretty long, looked to contest shots via verticality and proved himself a willing charge drawer as well.
      • He averaged 2.1 blocks per 40 minutes.
    • Spellman is a stout post defender.
    • He’s attentive to his boxout responsibilities but not all that physical, making him a good defensive rebounder but not really dominant.
      • Spellman collected 23.1% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor.

[1] According to sports-reference

[2] According to RealGM

[3] According to Ken Pomeroy

[4] According to RealGM

[5] According to Villanova’s official listing

[6] DOB: 7/21/1997

[7] According to hoop-math

[8] According to Draft Express

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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