A season’s worth of experience aids Arcidiacono
The offseason for Villanova freshman guard Ryan Arcidiacono has been a busy one. In April when the Big 5 Basketball awards were handed out, Arcidiacono was named Rookie of the Year. Arcidiacono averaged 11.9 points, 3.5 assists and 2.1 rebounds to help the Wildcats reach the NCAA Tournament for the eighth time in the last nine years.
What’s more, a recent trip to USA Basketball’s U19 Training Camp in Colorado Springs was, for the Langhorne resident, a return engagement of sorts. One year ago, he was part of a group of athletes competing for a slot on the national team’s U18 squad.
When he reached USA Basketball’s headquarters this time, though, Arcidiacono had something going for him he did not possess last year: a season of competitive basketball to draw upon. And that put him much more Ln WKH flRw WKDn KH wDV ODVW year less than six months removed from back surgery.
“Having a college season under my belt is big,” says Arcidiacono, who was named to the BIG EAST All-Rookie squad in a 201213 season in which he started all 34 games for a Villanova unit that earned an NCAA Tournament bid with a 20-14 record.
“Coming into last summer I was just trying to play my game and get back into shape somewhat. I didn’t get into shape until October.”
In the spring of 2012, Arcidiacono was in the midst of the slow road back from December 2011 surgery that had kept him sidelined from playing for Neshaminy High School as a senior. And though there were no physical setbacks or further pain after the surgery, there was the small matter of rust and game conditioning to address. It was a laborious process that was in its early stages when USA Basketball candidates assembled last June in Colorado Springs. Arcidiacono was not selected to the team at the training camp.
“Last year was a great experience for me because I was rusty,” he recalls. “I reDOOy GLGn’W SODy wHOO WKH fiUVW three workouts we had out there. But after that I thought I played pretty well. It didn’t work out for me then but it was an honor to be invited and it’s an honor to be asked back this year.”
Arcidiacono was one of 24 athletes who battled for a spot on the 12-man roster for the USA team that will represent the USA at the U19 World Championship in Prague. Training camp got underway in Colorado
Neshaminy High School alum Ryan Arcidiacono, right, battles a St. Joseph’s player for the ball in his first season for the Wildcats.