Villanova freshman Omari Spellman announced Wednesday he is keeping his name in the NBA Draft, meaning the Wildcats will be without four of their top six players from last season's national championship team.
Spellman, who missed the 2016-17 season after being ruled academically ineligible, averaged 10.9 points and 8.0 rebounds last season for Villanova. He emerged as one of the best perimeter shooters at his position, making 43.3 percent of his 3-point attempts. Spellman had a strong NCAA tournament, including an 18-point, eight-rebound effort against West Virginia and 15 points and 13 rebounds against Kansas in the national semifinals.
A 6-foot-9 Ohio native, Spellman was considered a five-star recruit in the class of 2016.
"We're really proud of the man that Omari has become and the thoughtful way he approached this process," Villanova coach Jay Wright said in a release. "The NBA people I have spoken with have been impressed with Omari's maturity and potential as a player. He made a great impact on our program and we're thrilled that his efforts have led him to this opportunity."
Double-figure scorers Eric Paschall and Phil Booth are now the top returnees for Villanova, with freshmen Collin Gillespie, Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree and Jermaine Samuels earmarked for bigger roles. Jay Wright is bringing in three ESPN 100 recruits, including five-star point guard Jahvon Quinerly and four-star forwards Cole Swider and Brandon Slater, as well as Albany graduate transfer Joe Cremo.