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What does Chris Arcidiacono’s commitment mean for Villanova Basketball’s roster?

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The Wildcats still have two open scholarships, leaving them with options.

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Happy Monday Nova Nation! Just when we think we’re ready to settle into the offseason, the Villanova Wildcats go and surprise us again. On Friday Chris Arcidiacono, the younger brother of Villanova great Ryan Arcidiacono, committed to become the fifth member of the class of 2019.

The class that is being described as Jay Wright’s best ever (which is saying something) was thought to be complete earlier this season. But with the departure of three players to transfer (Dylan Painter, Tim Delaney, and Jahvon Quinerly), Villanova found itself with three unoccupied scholarships. That number is now down to two.

It’s not uncommon for Wright to leave some spots open on the roster. In his time at Villanova, Wright has never entered a season with all 13 scholarships filled and un-redshirted. In fact the most active players he’s ever entered a season with at Nova was last year with 12.

With five incoming freshman now, making 11 active players on the roster, it’s entirely possible that one of them will red shirt their rookie season. It’s also possible that like last season, none of them will. But either way we’re left asking ourselves if the roster is finally set?

Arcidiacono is a welcome addition, but he’s hardly the answer at point guard that fans have been looking for. Like Collin Gillespie and fellow classmate Justin Moore, he fits more of a combo guard description rather than a true point guard. There’s also an air of mystery around Arcidiacono as we have yet to see what if any improvements he’s made since spending a season at prep school with the goal of earning a spot on a high major team. His last grade on 247 Sports was from the 2018 class, where he received a .8400 and a 3-Star ranking. For comparison, that would be the lowest score on the current roster and in Nova’s history puts him between Darrun Hilliard (.8520 3-Star) and Darryl Reynolds (.7933 2-Star).

In my opinion, this is a depth move by Wright who comes into the season with only three guards in Gillespie, Moore, and Bryan Antoine. While it doesn’t completely rule out another addition to the 2019 class or a transfer in, I think adding Arcidiacono shows Wright’s confidence in the guards he has. Gillespie isn’t his predecessor Jalen Brunson, but he proved himself a capable point guard last year and is certainly a good shooter. Moore is likely next in line for ball handling duties, and has the ability to create opportunities off his ability to penetrate. Antoine is an elite scorer at the shooting guard position, but he’s expressed interest in getting more ball handling opportunities. Nova fans should expect to see a healthy rotation of those three at the 1 and 2 spots this season.

As for Arcidiacono, he’ll be fourth in line for that rotation at least to start the summer (the 2019 class should be on campus in June). The fact that he was offered a scholarship and was not brought on as a prefered walk-on like Baker Dunleavy was, says that the coaching staff thinks he’ll be able to contribute meaningful minutes. But no matter what we see on the court, we can expect Arch 3.0 (Gillespie already took 2.0) to bring a toughness and energy to his team that his last name carries with it.

I look forward to seeing what Arcidiacono can add to this team, and I join all of Nova Nation in welcoming him in as the newest Villanova Wildcat.

In other “news”, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl has shined on the national stage lately, Villanova’s NBA rookies are making an impact with their teams, and Will Wade is back at LSU. Enjoy!

Villanova’s Class of 2019

Chris Arcidiacono commits to Villanova, following older brother Ryan | The Inquirer
Chris Arcidiacono played this season at the Perkiomen School after an outstanding career at Neshaminy High. His brother, Ryan, played for the Wildcats from 2012-16, winning a national championship as a senior.

Chris Arcidiacono commits to Villanova | Sports | delcotimes.com
Wake Forest, Davidson, La Salle and Saint Joseph’s were among the schools Chris Arcidiacono talked to during his latest go-around in the college basketball recruiting process.

Breaking Down The Biggest Names At The 2019 Nike Hoop Summit | UPROXX
From Cole Anthony and Nico Mannion to James Wiseman and Isaiah Stewart, here’s who stood out at the 2019 Nike Hoop Summit.

Recruiting

3-star forward Mikeal Brown-Jones decommits from Penn State men's basketball | Daily Collegian
Penn State is back to square one for the 2020 recruiting cycle.

NBA Wildcats

Handing Out Awards for Every NBA Team | Bleacher Report
Just like that, the 2018-19 NBA regular season is over, and that means it's time to hand out some hardware...

College Basketball

College basketball awards: Best and worst of 2018-19 | SI.com
With another season in the books, we look back on what stood out the most—for better or for worse—in our year-end superlatives.

LSU reinstates head coach Will Wade after meeting with school and NCAA officials | CBSSports.com
The Tigers have reinstated their head basketball coach after he met with NCAA, LSU officials over the weekend