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Villanova Basketball 2021 Player Recap: Chris Arcidiacono

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The younger Arcidiacono showed that he wasn’t just there for the ride.

Villanova v Baylor Photo by Trevor Brown Jr/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Chris Arcidiacono’s Career Stats

SEASON GP GS MIN FG FG% 3PT 3P% FT FT% OR DR REB AST BLK STL PF TO PTS
SEASON GP GS MIN FG FG% 3PT 3P% FT FT% OR DR REB AST BLK STL PF TO PTS
2019-20 8 0 2.5 0.1-0.8 16.7 0.1-0.8 16.7 0.0-0.0 0 0 0 0 0.3 0 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.4
2020-21 13 4 8.5 0.2-0.9 25 0.2-0.9 25 0.2-0.4 60 0.2 0.8 1 0.6 0 0.2 0.4 0.3 0.9

The Breakdown

March 3 was a bittersweet day.

The Villanova Wildcats got a revenge win on Senior Night, closing out their final home game at Finneran Pavilion with a comfortable victory over Creighton, after losing to the Bluejays just a few weeks earlier in Omaha.

However, it came at a cost. Midway through the game, Collin Gillespie went down with an apparent knee injury and didn’t return. In the aftermath, it turned out to be a season-ending MCL injury, leaving the team’s prospects uncertain and questions arose regarding the point guard position.

The first game post-Gillespie was going to be telling, a road game at Providence.

Enter Chris Arcidiacono.

The Providence game started off as a complete mess. Unsurprisingly, the ‘Cats were disorganized and out of sync, but a large double-digit wasn’t exactly expected. Things went from bad to worse, when Justin Moore went down with an ankle injury.

Arcidiacono, who had been limited to just blowout, garbage time minutes, was thrusted onto the court.

He appeared in just seven games, usually when the victory was already within reach.

This time was different.

Arcidiacono showed he could play, and that he wasn’t just there for the ride. He didn’t get caught up in the moment or get flustered. Although he was scoreless, he provided some energy off the bench, grabbed four rebounds, dished out a couple of assists, showed that Arcidiacono hustle, and only gave up one turnover through 22 minutes of action.

He had a pretty good grasp on concepts, and he didn’t look lost. Arcidiacono nearly helped the ‘Cats come back, but they fell short in the final seconds.

It was enough for Jay Wright to trust him with more minutes and a starting role.

He logged 34 minutes in a 72-71 Big East Tournament quarterfinals loss to Georgetown, scoring his first few points of the season. He had three points (all off free throws), with five boards, four assists, one steal, and no turnovers.

Arcidiacono didn’t play nearly as much minutes as that in the remaining three games. Bryan Antoine also grew comfortable on the floor and took some of those minutes. He hit a couple of threes in the win against Winthrop, his first few made shots of the season, then hit a three and grabbed a rebound against Baylor.

Looking ahead

He embraced the moment and the challenge and didn’t shy away from it, so give him his credit, especially after being thrown into that situation.

Arcidiacono held his own on the court, but he also has room for improvement.

With Arcidiacono on the floor, he didn’t really provide a scoring punch offensively. Defensively, he would be in the right places and make the right decisions, but his limited athleticism and quickness hindered his effectiveness on that end of the floor, like when he guarded Georgetown freshman Dante Harris.

Harris had a team-high 18 points in that Big East Tournament quarterfinal showdown.

However, it’s nice to know that there’s another reliable option off the bench and there’s much more to him than originally thought.

With Collin Gillespie back, Antoine primed for a big year three, and some incoming freshmen, who knows what his minutes will look like in 2021-22, but one thing’s for sure.

Guess you can never count out an Arcidiacono.