Five-star freshman ruled ineligible to play for Villanova this season
Omari Spellman will not be eligible to play for Villanova this season, the school announced on Friday morning.
“We are extremely disappointed for Omari,” stated Villanova head coach Jay Wright. “While we don’t agree with the NCAA’s decision, we are members of the association and respect it. We understand why the NCAA felt it had to rule this way.”
“We will make a positive out of this for Omari. He will concentrate on his academics and individual development this season. In the long run Omari will be a better student and player for this experience.”
Spellman is a top 20 recruit that played for St. Thomas More this past season. At 6-foot-9, 260 pounds, Spellman was going to be counted on to play a major role in replacing Daniel Ochefu, the 6-foot-11 center that graduated this past spring. Without Spellman, Villanova will have to rely on inconsistent senior Darryl Reynolds to man their front line.
It is worth noting, however, that Reynolds did average 9.0 points and 10.6 boards in three games Ochefu missed last year. That was the first time in his career that he was given consistent minutes.
Spellman will be allowed to continue to practice with Villanova as he takes an academic redshirt.