Three Villanova players have decisions to make on NBA draft process

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Donte DiVincenzo and his teammates Eric Paschall and Omari Spellman have until Sunday to decide to enter the NBA draft process.

The celebrations of Villanova’s national championship have died down a little bit, and the Wildcats players are working on finishing out the semester on a good note academically.

However, for Donte DiVincenzo, Omari Spellman and Eric Paschall, there are decisions to make. The three players are considering entering the NBA draft process, where they would be allowed to work out for NBA teams but still would be able to return to college as long as they haven’t hired agents.

The deadline for entering the process is Sunday. All three players have discussed the possibilities with coach Jay Wright, and will do so again later this week after Wright returns Tuesday from his trip to Italy and a visit with Pope Francis.

“Coach and I sat down gathering information, just trying to see where I would fit, where they would see me,” DiVincenzo, a 6-foot-5 redshirt sophomore guard, said Monday night at the Big Five banquet. “Once he gets back, we’ll sit down and have a conversation.”

DiVincenzo, the most outstanding player of the Final Four after scoring 31 points in the Wildcats’ championship game win over Michigan, called playing in the NBA “a dream that I’ve been thinking about since I was a little kid, so there’s always a thought of that.

“And there’s a thought that you’re leaving not only a great team but you’re leaving a great university. There are so many people that have helped me get to this point, that you kind of don’t want to do that. You want to give them everything that they’ve given you.”

Spellman, a 6-9 redshirt freshman who was the Big East freshman of the year and the Wildcats’ top rebounder, said he is taking it “as slow as possible” before making a decision.

“I just want to make sure I consider everything and talk to my family first,” he said.

“I love being in college. I love being a part of this team and I love my teammates. Declaring obviously, you get to gather information and things of that nature. If you go, you get to live out your dream. For me, whatever the best decision is, that’s the decision I’m going to make.”

Paschall, a 6-9 redshirt junior who improved the most of any Villanova player this past season, said he was pleased to have a chance to try out for NBA teams and still return to school.

“There’s a lot of different ways you can approach it,” he said. “The fact that they’re allowing college kids to do it, it helps a lot. It allows people to test the waters. But I still haven’t made a decision. I’m still talking to Coach about it, so we’ll see from there.”

Two other Wildcats, junior guard Jalen Brunson and redshirt junior swingman Mikal Bridges, declared last week for the NBA draft.