Villanova Basketball: Will Ryan Arcidiacono Become Nova's Next Great PG?

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16:  Ryan Arcidiacono #15 of the Villanova Wildcats takes a shot as Carl Engstrom #4 of the Alabama Crimson Tide defends during the 2012 2K Sports Classic on November 16, 2012 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

For the first four games of Villanova's season, the focus has been on the youth on the team that coach Jay Wright has at the moment.

One of those players included in the youth movement is freshman point guard Ryan Arcidiacono.

Arcidiacono starred against his first two opponents at the college level, the University of DC and Marshall, but his performances against Purdue and Alabama last week in New York showed that he still needs plenty of improvement.

Although he struggled in the second halves when Villanova was trailing against both Purdue and Alabama, there were plenty of signs to suggest that Arcidiacono could be the next great point guard under Wright at Villanova.

Since Wright took over the Wildcats in 2001, he has always had a reliable point guard to count on.

In the past, Wright has had Allan Ray, Randy Foye, Kyle Lowry and Scottie Reynolds to rely on to lead the team into the postseason.

Last season, Nova started Maalik Wayns at point guard, but instead of coming back for his senior season, Wayns opted to go to the NBA and is currently with the Philadelphia 76ers.

The unexpected void left by Wayns has given Arcidiacono a chance to shine in his first season.

In his first two games for Nova, the freshman from Langhorne, Pa. shot .500 from the field, including a 25-point performance against Marshall.

When the Wildcats got to New York to play in the final four of the 2K Sports Classic, they went up against experienced opposition, and their youth showed.

Against Purdue, Arcidiacono had a successful first half but then began to struggle in the second half as Nova began to climb back into the game.

The freshman took the task of winning the game into his own hands, and it was almost detrimental to his team.

Instead of setting the pace and organizing the offense in the second half, Arcidiacono started to throw up unnecessary shots and ended up shooting 3-of-14 from the field.

After Nova's comeback win in overtime over Purdue, Arcidiacono was up to the same things against Alabama in the final of the tournament.

Arcidiacono shot 3-of-11 from the field and was 1-of-8 from three-point range.

Another problem that the freshman had in New York last week was turnovers, as he committed a combined nine in both games.

The good news for both the freshman point guard and for Wright is that there is plenty of time for Arcidiacono to develop into a great point guard.

It may not happen this season, but the amount of playing time that he will get as a freshman will benefit him in the long run.

With a fairly easy non-conference schedule left for Nova until Big East play begins, Arcidiacono will have a chance to find a rhythm with the offense and work on a partnership with sophomore Darrun Hilliard at the guard position.

With the Big East being a deep conference for one last season with Syracuse, Pitt and Notre Dame leaving for the ACC next year, it will give Arcidiacono plenty of quality competition to play against in his first season.

With a weakened Big East and plenty of offseason work, Arcidiacono could evolve as a star next season, but this season is all about getting accustomed to the college game and finding a comfort zone under Wright.

Although there is plenty of time left in the career of Arcidiacono, he has plenty of potential and could easily become the next player in a line of great Villanova point guards.