A sea­son’s worth of ex­pe­ri­ence aids Ar­cidi­a­cono

The Advance of Bucks County - - SPORTS -

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

Photo courtesy Vil­lanova Ath­let­ics

Ne­shaminy High School alum Ryan Ar­cidi­a­cono, right, bat­tles a St. Joseph’s player for the ball in his first sea­son for the Wild­cats.

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