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Could Jay Wright start true freshman Ryan Arcidiacono at point guard for Villanova?

Oct 21, 2012, 1:59 PM EDT

With the losses that coach Jay Wright and Villanova have suffered in the backcourt, is it plausible that true freshman Ryan Arcidiacono could be handed the reins to begin the 2012-13 season?

CBS Sports analyst Jon Rothstein thinks so, as he tweeted this week.

Arcidiacono, a 6-3, 185-pound local product, missed much of last season with injury, but with Maalik Wayns and Dominic Cheek leaving to go pro after last season, Arcidiacono seems to be the next in line.

Aside from the plain fact that starting a true freshman in a conference like the Big East can be difficult, Arcidiacono as a wide range of skills that could help him in his first year.

As a passer, he has tremendous court vision and has a knack for finding teammates in a position to score. Not only can he find teammates, but he can create for himself and step out beyond the three-point line and make shots with consistency.

Without Wayns and Cheek, the Wildcats lose out on close to 30 points of scoring per game, just under half of their total scoring output per game last season.

Expectations aren’t high for Villanova this season, having been picked to finish 12th in the conference by Big East coaches this week, so inserting Arcidiacono and allowing him to develop with in-game experience could be the best bet for Wright and the Wildcats.

But, don’t discount Tony Chennault, the Wake Forest transfer who was ruled eligible to play immediately at Villanova. If he doesn’t compete for and perhaps get the starting job, he’ll be key as a complementary piece.

They begin their season on Nov. 9 against District of Columbia.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

  1. ncphilliesguy - Oct 22, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    I think Chennault will start. He has ACC experience, so he won’t get overwhelmed. But maybe RA can start too. With the talent on this team, they will have to play 3 guards a lot. Wayns was a great player, and losing him will hurt. But Wayns and Cheek dominated the ball so much (and I know this was because of the inexperience Pinkston and Johnson), but it will be interesting to see if some of the younger guys and Mouph can score a little more if Chennault actually passes the ball. And he passed the ball very well at Wake, even though they did not have enough talent to match up for a full 40 in the ACC. Maybe nobody will be able to score, but I’m hoping the kids step it up, and Mouph can score 10-15 consistently.

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