6'8", 215 PF Omari Spellman of North Royalton High School (North Royalton, OH) has been offered a scholarship by Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams, making the Hokies his seventh offer according to 247 Sports. North Royalton is in Cuyahoga County (think Cleveland)
First tweeted out by Adam Finkelstein of ESPN:
Team Scan '16 big man Omari Spellman has added an offer from Buzz Williams & Virginia Tech— Adam Finkelstein (@AdamFinkelstein) May 18, 2014
With Joey Van Zegeren exhausting his eligibility in 2016, and a 2014 recruiting class that was perimeter-dominated with Justin Bibb, Jalen Hudson, and Ahmed Hill, it is important that Buzz get in early on some premier big men to go with 2014 commit Satchel Pierce, a 7 foot tall Brad Daugherty clone, who would be entering his Junior Year in 2016.
Almost every 2014 recruit we picked up has some tie to Ohio, whether it be their home like Bibbs, where they play their high school ball like Richmond's Hudson, or play their summer AAU in the state like Satchel Pierce. Former coach James Johnson had already begun sowing seeds up there, and it appears as though Buzz agrees that it is one of the more fertile recruiting grounds.
247 has him as 100% committed to Villanova and Coach Jay Wright right now. The other schools in contention, and trust me after you see his video, there will eventually by at least 25-30 big-time schools on his list, are:
Villanova, Cincinnati, Wake Forest, UCLA, UNLV, and VCU. Notable for non-inclusion? Ohio State. Seems they would have been among the first to offer.
Let's check out a little video:
Let me first say, whoever is advising him to play amongst the local high school kids at North Royalton is doing him a disservice. He needs to be playing at a basketball factory for at least his senior year. He has obviously been working on his perimeter skills and while they are incredibly advanced for a young man his size at his age (just 16), it would be irresponsible to refer to him as the best "big man" in the state just yet. Firstly, none of these kids in the tape want anything to do with getting in front of him in the open floor, sheeeee--I'll let Clay Davis finish for me:
Spring's coming, and you don't want to be in a cast with a foot print on your chest!! He looks like he still has the baby fat that Sean May (UNC) and Lonny Baxter (Maryland) rode to national titles, but he looks as though that will be shed by the time we would ever possibly see him on campus. With prospects like this it's always wise to check out the AAU tapes also to see if they are being trained more classically for the role they're going to play at the next stage. This tape is no different:
Unless you're really interested in their PG, check out Omari's portion of the clip at the 2:08 mark. Here you can see that he defends the post very well, as the montage of blocked shots would indicate. However, he still isn't posting up like I'd like to see. And this is where I'd usually lament AAU coaches cow-towing to their players and trying to mold them into the multifaceted offensive weapons that make the most money at the NBA level. But instead, I have learned to accept that the only coaches with the backbone to insist that the big men play like bigs are those coaches who have the job security to do so. One coach with such security? New VT coach Buzz Williams.
The question will be whether Buzz could convince a kid with a well-rounded game like Spellman to abandon parts of that skill-set to fit more into the role we require of him. He does look immensely talented though, and there is definitely room for him to improve upon that star rating, and to transform himself into a post force. But the first thing I'd do is get him into an Oak Hill or Montverde Academy and tighten up the competition he is going to face. He's simply a man among boys in that Ohio State Public School League.
Summers find Spellman playing AAU ball with TeamScan , coached by Terrence "Munch" Williams. They draw talent from up and down the East Coast. He has a good relationship with Shaka Smart, with Smart having landed VCU's highest-rated prospect ever in Terry Larrier this past Fall. Among notable competition of VCU's for Larrier was Marquette's Buzz Williams, so the world is once again small and round. It's just good to know that we have Buzz on our side now, we won't immediately get laughed out of the circle of high-profile coaches that surround these kids during the open periods.
Hopefully we're doing well enough keeping you apprised of what's coming down the hoops recruiting pike, it's one fo the things we are finding most enjoyable in our role here. Stay tuned for more info on the recruits Buzz is offering.
Nuestro Cassell es su Cassell! Have a great week.