Villanova is still waiting a ruling from the NCAA on the status of Omari Spellman, a talented freshman big man.
Spellman, a 6-foot-9, 260 pound low-post force, is dealing with an issue regarding his initial eligibility, but head coach Jay Wright acknowledged on Friday that there is a timetable on when the decision will get made.
“We’re in the appeal process so he’s cleared to be on scholarship, cleared to practice,” Wright told SNY.tv. “The competiton part of it, we’re waiting. By early October the latest, we should have an answer on whether he can play in games this year.”
The worst-case scenario, Wright said, is that Spellman is forced to take what would amount to an academic redshirt, where he would have to sit out the 2016-17 season. That would be a blow for the Wildcats, as they lack experienced depth in their front court with the graduation of Daniel Ochefu. Darryl Reynolds, who has spent the last three years playing a very limited role, is the only low-post presence that has suited up for Villanova in a game.
Spellman has been involved in practices with the reigning national champions, but he was not eligible to play in the team’s trip to Spain last month.