The Langhorne, PA native took Nova Nation by storm in his freshman year with his clutch shot over the Syracuse Orange. While many argued he attempted too many 3's, all were pleased with the 12 PPG the freshman was able to bring to the table. Everyone only had high hopes for the rising sophomore, especially the leadership role he would soon take on.
Here's how Ryan Arcidiacono responded:
What was expected
The season started off with Arch sitting on the bench for the exhibition game vs. West Chester with a rib injury. A preseason full of injury rumors had Wildcat fans on the fritz off the bat, but all of those reports fizzled soon enough. Ryan was able to enter the season with no issues.
Best Case Scenario: Arcidiacono leads the team in scoring and is widely regarded as one of the top guards in the BIG EAST. The return of Dylan Ennis takes some pressure off of Arch to perform and he becomes a lethal, efficient scorer. His season lands him a spot on the All-BIG EAST 1st team.
Worst Case Scenario: A player who Jay Wright claims needs prodding to shoot still forces up multiple bad shots per game, and after a stellar freshman campaign, struggles to cope with the additional attention from opposing defense in a disappointing sophomore slump season.
We saw this season more of the worst case scenario and best. On multiple occasions, Arcidiacono would finish a game with a below-30% shooting because he failed to convert his 3-point attempts, which accumulated over half his total shot attempts on the season. Ryan finished 4th on the team in scoring, however opposing coaches would never forget him when 'Nova needed a big three at the end of any game. In this way, he was technically a lethal scorer who opposing teams feared.
While considered a snub, Arch failed to land even on the All-BIG EAST Second Team. His sophomore campaign gave him Big East Honorable Mention, along with teammate Darrun Hilliard.
Vote from Wisdom of Crowds
In Wisdom of Crowds, readers cast their votes on how many points Arcidiacono would average this season. Approximately 95% of you predicted him to put up at least 12.6 PPG, with the majority saying 14.4 PPG.
Strangely enough, one of our options was 9.9 PPG, which is spot on what Ryan ended the year with. This option was the ONLY OPTION no one voted on. Winners are the 10 voters who were within 0.9 points.
While scoring decreased by 2 PPG, his FG% increased 50 points and 3P% 18 points. Assists and steals stayed constant, but turnovers were cut in half. Turnovers were a giant improvement for the team as a whole.
This depends on what you mean by "best." I'm sure the Battle 4 Atlantis Semi-Final comes to mind quickly, as his last-second three pointer lifted the 'Cats over the Kansas Jayhawks to what would ultimately be a season turning point. Stat-wise, the OT win over the Marquette Golden Eagles showed Arch's leadership. While his foul on Todd Mayo's 3-point attempt caused said overtime, he came through with 6 points and a nifty pass that proved to be the dagger. He had a double-double in this one with 20 points and a season-high 11 assists.
Easily the Big 5 matchup vs. the Penn Quakers was Arcidiacono's poorest outing. As a whole, the Wildcats shot cold throughout the game, especially the second half. Ryan was no exception- he finished with 3 points on 1-10 efficiency (1-9 from beyond the arc) and 4 assists.
B - As a freshman, we obviously saw Wright's love for Arcidiacono. We also knew, starting point guard his freshman year, that he would eventually need to gain a leadership quality sooner than later. This season Ryan was able to command the floor at a higher efficiency that last season, and should only grow from here. His dip in offense this season is unsettling, and a large portion of his shots are threes (sometimes, they are ALL threes). As you all know, I personally think this team should drive more often, so I am not a fan of the number of shots beyond the arc. Hopefully with more leadership on the court, the threes will decrease and paint-driving will be more common.