Evaluating Omari Spellman, Jalen Brunson, and Quinton Rose
December 13, 2017
By Alan Lu
Today, I took the time to watch a non-conference, college basketball game that was played between Villanova and Temple. I set out to watch Villanova’s junior forward, Mikal Bridges, but came away impressed with the play of his other two teammates, redshirt freshman center, Omari Spellman, and junior point guard Jalen Brunson. Villanova won handily as they defeated Temple by 20, but Quinton Rose had a really good game in a losing effort. Here are my thoughts on how various prospects played, as well as where they may rate as prospects for the NBA.
Villanova’s redshirt freshman center, Omari Spellman played very well, as he really excelled as a shooter and scorer when he was on the court, and he had a solid all-around game in his team’s win over Temple. Spellman is a really good shooter that did a great job of spacing the floor for his team. He excelled at knocking down open threes off the catch, and he was able to swish in multiple long-range jumpers from beyond the arc. He also used a pump fake move to make a nifty three-point shot on a leaner after trying to draw a foul on his man. He had a tougher time trying to make threes off of pick and pop plays, but he did a terrific job of knocking down spot-up jumpers overall.
He also really excelled at knocking down face-up, mid-range jumpers, as he would use a pivot move from the post to do so. Also, Spellman moves well off the ball, as he did a very good job of scoring on cuts to the basket, and he was able to score in traffic on one of those plays. Plus, Spellman managed to score on a nifty high post drive when doubled, as he was able to get all the way to the rim due to possessing a fairly good first step to the hoop.
Also, he displayed decent playmaking skills. Spellman played unselfishly, and he made a good read on one play by throwing a crisp, interior pass to set up a score for a teammate around the basket, but sometimes he can struggle to protect the basketball, as he had a ball poked away when posting up to commit a turnover. Plus, he did a good job of rebounding the basketball. Spellman was quite active on the defensive glass, as he would leap up to haul them in, and he also blocked out his man to get one, as he will use solid techniques to collect boards for his team.
In addition, Spellman showcased adequate defensive skills. He has good hands, as he was able to poke a ball away to help his team get a steal. He also will contest shots, as he excelled at defending in the post to force misses, and he will also step out on shooters to challenge shots to force them miss shots out there, but sometimes, he can be late on his rotations, which can lead his team to allow scores at times.
In general, Omari Spellman had a terrific game, as he shot the ball really well, and he was able to score 27 points, make 4 threes, and collect 8 rebounds to help lead his team to a blowout win over Temple. He is a mobile big man that is a very skilled basketball player, and he may be a vastly underrated prospect, as he could end up being a really good find for a team in the NBA draft.
Villanova’s junior point guard, Jalen Brunson had a tremendous showing, as he played extremely well in the first half, and he helped his team go on cruise control prior to winning by double-digits over Temple. He really excelled offensively, and he made big shots time and time again when he was on the floor. Brunson shot the ball really well, as he did a great job of knocking down jumpers to space the floor for his team. He excelled at knocking down threes off the catch, dribble, as well as dribbling off of screens, and he would make them with ease. Plus, he also was able to make a long two-point shot in transition.
Also, he did a very good job of getting scores off the dribble. Brunson handles the ball very well, and he would score on strong, aggressive drives to the hoop. He also would draw a handful of fouls on the opposition, and he used a pivot move to score on a turnaround jumper off of a drive another time. Brunson also used a spin move to score on a strong drive on the break, as he is a very quick guard that showed a great ability to finish plays around the basket.
He also showed off solid playmaking skills. Brunson is a smart decision maker that plays with a lot of poise, and he would throw an assortment of accurate passes to set up plenty of scores for his teammates. He can find teammates in stride, and he was able to throw a lob pass to set up a score on the break, but sometimes, his teammates would drop his passes, which would lead his team to commit a few turnovers. Also, Brunson did a good job of rebounding the basketball. He was quite active at crashing the defensive glass, and he would quickly get to balls to help secure them for his team.
However, he did not play nearly as well on the defensive side of the ball. Brunson does not have outstanding size for the point guard position, and as Temple has tall guards, he had trouble successfully challenging shots, as his team would end up allowing scores on jumpers, but he also would commit some fouls on drives due to over-aggressiveness. Brunson did make one good defensive play though, as he was able to poke a ball away to help get his team a steal.
In general, Jalen Brunson had a really good game, as he is a smart, very skilled basketball player that plays with a lot of poise, and he plays with a chip on his shoulder. He is a vastly underrated prospect as he possesses solid offensive skills, and he could end up being a solid find for an NBA team in the draft.
Temple’s 6-8 sophomore guard Quinton Rose put forth a really good performance in his team’s loss to Villanova. He really excelled as a shooter and scorer in this game, and he handles the ball very well, and he is quite adept at getting shots up as he can also put up points in a hurry on offense. Rose did a great job of knocking down jumpers to space the floor for his team. He especially excelled at making pull-up jumpers after using crossovers and step-back moves, as he can do so to knock down threes and mid-range jumpers. Rose does a very good job of using his ball handling skills to create separation between himself and his defender. Also, he did a good job of scoring on drives to the hoop. Rose used a pivot and a ball fake to score on a strong drive to the basket, and he also excelled at drawing free throws, but sometimes, he can miss shots around the basket, as he may not always finish plays in traffic.
However, he showed off average playmaking skills at best. Rose did find an open teammate that was out ahead on the break, as he made a pass to him to set up a score that time. But he also committed plenty of turnovers. He would be careless when handling the ball, as he would lose it or get it poked away, and he also was called for traveling on a drive. He did display adequate defensive skills. Rose showed a very good ability to poke balls away to get steals, and he also managed to contest a three to force a miss. However, he also ended up committing touch fouls, as he can do so due to over-aggressiveness. In general, Quinton Rose had a very good game, as he really excelled as a shooter and scorer when he was on the court. He has an intriguing skill set, and he could end up being a potential first round pick in the upcoming draft.
Villanova’s 6-5 sophomore guard, Donte DiVincenzo had a good showing in his team’s victory on this day. He excelled as a shooter, as he was able to make a quick three in transition, and he also made a pull-up three. Plus, he also did a very good job of scoring on hustle plays, as he scored on a put back, and he also caught a lob to score in transition.
He also showed some defensive skills. DiVincenzo managed to jump a pass to get a steal, and he also altered a shot on an opponent’s put back to force a miss. He was quite active as a defender, and he would provide ball pressure and challenge shots to help get stops for his team. However, sometimes he would give up too much space to his man, which would lead his team to allow scores. He also seemed to have some trouble defending drives when he would guard his man. He also showed off adequate playmaking skills. DiVincenzo is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass, and he also made a quick pass to a cutter after initially driving to the hoop. but he did commit a couple of turnovers, as one was where he committed a charging foul on a drive.
In general, Donte DiVincenzo had a good showing, and he particularly excelled as a shooter when he was on the floor. But he also would make hustle plays on both ends of the floor, and he even leapt up high to get an offensive board to help his team retain possession of the basketball. He hasn’t been asked to play a primary role on offense, but DiVincenzo is a skilled player that can do a little bit of everything, and he could be a second round prospect whenever he elects to enter the NBA draft.
I was looking forward to watching Villanova’s junior swingman, Mikal Bridges play against Temple, as he played really well in his team’s win over Gonzaga, and he had been having a solid season this year. He did not play nearly as well in his team’s win over the Owls, but Bridges did play solid defense when he was on the floor. Bridges was inconsistent in knocking down jumpers, but he was able to make a pull-up, mid-range jumper off of a curl cut, and he also made an open three off the catch. Plus, he was able to draw a non-shooting foul on a quick drive to the hoop.
Also, Bridges showed off a good ability to score in the post. He was able to back down his man, and he pivoted to score on a step-through move once. However, he struggled more to score on off-ball motion plays in this game, as he missed on an alley-oop after receiving a perhaps inaccurate pass off of a cut, and he also missed on a drive in transition after using a Eurostep move.
He also ended up committing plenty of turnovers. For the positives, Bridges played unselfishly, and he would look to move the basketball. However, he had trouble protecting the basketball, as he had it poked away a few times, which resulted in turnovers. He also ended up committing a traveling violation after appearing to throw down a thunderous dunk on the break, as he took too many steps and did not dribble the basketball after sprinting down court to catch a long pass.
Bridges played good defense. He excelled as a shot blocker, as he would swat shots around the basket due to possessing very good athleticism, leaping ability, and timing to do so, and he also caught an errant pass that was thrown right to him to help his team get a steal, but he did get beat on a step back move once, as he ended up allowing a score on a pull-up, mid-range shot that time. In this game, Mikal Bridges struggled on offense, but he played well on the defensive end. It may be too early to gauge his draft stock right now, but he is a very athletic swingman that could project into a defensive specialist role at the next level.
Temple’s 6-3 senior guard, Josh Brown shot the ball really well, as he scored efficiently within the touches he received on offense. He made both of his three-point shots off the catch, as he would take advantage of defenders leaving him open. He also would use a step back and a crossover move to score on pull-up, mid-range jumpers. Plus, he also scored on a turnaround jumper after posting up. Brown did commit a couple of turnovers due to carelessness, but he mostly excelled as a shooter and scorer in this game, and he is a skilled basketball player that could end up being on an NBA summer league roster sometime in the near future.
Temple’s senior forward, Obi Enechionyia did not have a great game, but he did have some good moments. He showed a decent ability to get scores off the dribble, as he can score on aggressive moves to the hoop, but sometimes, he can play too fast, which can lead to some misses around the basket. He also managed to draw free throws on a put back. However, Enechionyia struggled to score in the post, and he was unable to knock down jumpers against Villanova in this game.
Enechionyia showed off good playmaking skills, as he is an unselfish player that can handle the basketball, and he would throw good passes to shooters to set up scoring chances for them. He also showed a fairly good ability to rebound the basketball, as he would haul in plenty of boards on both ends of the floor. Plus, he showed decent defensive skills. Enechionyia managed to jump a pass to get a steal, and he would also contest a three as well as a shot in the post to force misses. But he did give up too much space once, as he allowed his man to score on a face-up, mid-range jumper. Another time, he was caught ball watching, and he lost track of his man on the backside, which resulted in his team giving up a dunk on the play.
In general, Obi Enechionyia did not play very well as he got off to a very slow start, but he did show some skills, as he handles the ball well for a player his size, and he can be a ball mover and defender when he is on the court. He will need to be a more assertive player on offense, and he will need to make more shots consistently, but his skill set could enable him to end up on an NBA summer league roster.