The Big East conference has announced their weekly awards, and Villanova's Ryan Arcidiacono was named the league's Rookie of the Week for his performance against NJIT on Friday night. The freshman guard managed to avoid turning the ball over in the victory, which was the fifth consecutive win for the Wildcats. He led the team in scoring with 17 points and added three assists as well, in 30 minutes of game-time.
At the conclusion of the non-conference schedule, Arcidiacono is the second-leading scorer for Villanova, with 11.5 points per game, though his scoring declined a bit as the season progressed. Heading into conference play, he will need to continue to limit his turnovers and improve on his shooting percentages, which have been sub-par thus-far.
Arcidiacono was the only Villanova player honored this week by the Big East. The full list of honorees included:
BIG EAST Player of the Week
RUSS SMITH, Louisville, G, Jr.
Smith keyed Louisville’s 80-77 win against
No. 23 Kentucky in a rematch of Final Four
teams from last season. He scored 21 points,
including 17 in the second half, matched his career high
with seven rebounds and added three assists and three
steals. Smith, who ranks third in the BIG EAST in scoring
this season (19.8 points per game), has hit for at least 20
points in six games this season and has had at least three
steals eight times.
BIG EAST Rookie of the Week
RYAN ARCIDIACONO, Villanova, G, Fr.
Arcidiacono scored a team-high 17 points with
three assists in Villanova’s only game of the
week, a 70-60 victory against NJIT. He played 30 minutes of
turnover-free basketball to help the Wildcats to their fifth
consecutive win. Arcidiacono enters conference play as
the team’s second-leading scorer at 11.5 points per game.
BIG EAST Honor Roll
SHABAZZ NAPIER, Connecticut, G, Jr.
Scored 13 points with eight rebounds, four assists and
three steals in a 61-53 win against Washington.
LADONTAE HENTON, Providence, F, So.
Scored a career-high 37 points, including a stretch of 24
straight Friar points in the second half, in a 69-68 loss
DANE MILLER, Rutgers, F, Sr.
Scored 18 points with five assists, four rebounds and two
blocks in a 68-56 win against Rider.
BRIAN OLIVER, Seton Hall, G/F, Jr.
Scored 20 points — all in the first half — on 6-of-8 shooting
from 3-point range in a 60-59 win against Stony Brook.
JAWANZA POLAND, USF, G, Sr.
Had team highs of 16 points and eight rebounds in a 61-57
win against George Mason.