Villanova will be without one of its top incoming recruits this season.
Omari Spellman, a five-star freshman, will be ineligible to play for Villanova this season, the Wildcats announced today. The 6-foot-9, 269-pound center was ranked the No. 2 player at his position and the No. 19 player in the class by 247Sports' Composite Rankings.
He will take an academic redshirt.
Jay Wright explained Spellman's issue to ESPN earlier this summer.
Wright said the issue has to do with Spellman's high school career, specifically "when his ninth grade year started.'' Per the NCAA, Spellman has been cleared academically to enroll at school, is OK to compete with the Wildcats and even on Monday participated in a summer scrimmage prior to Villanova's 10-day trip Spain. He cannot, however, take part in competitive games and therefore will not play on the team's visit to Barcelona and Madrid.
"Once you start [high school] you have four years to complete it,'' said Wright, who said he could not go into great detail about the situation. "When they started counting his four years, that's what's at question.''
Villanova, last year's national champion, is expected to once again contend for a Final Four berth during the 2016-17 season.