Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
NEW YORK — In this video interview from Wednesday’s Big East Media Day, Villanova head coach Jay Wright told SNY.tv he’s likely to start freshman Ryan Arcidiacono at the point.
“Arch is a freshman point guard who’s really wise beyond his years,” said Wright, whose team was picked 12th in the 15-team Big East. “He’s going to play above his years.”
Arcidiacono is a 6-foot-3 native of Langhorne, Pa., who averaged 20.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game as a junior in 2010-11. He had December surgery to his back that caused him to miss the 2011-12 high school campaign at Neshaminy.
Arcidiacono will start alongside 6-6 sophomore shooting guard Darrun Hilliard.
“Darrun Hilliard played for us last year as a freshman but really had a good offseason,” Wright said. “He looks good shooting the ball.”
In the backcourt, Villanova also adds Wake Forest transfer Tony Chennault, who is eligible immediately, to a group that also includes sophomore Ty Johnson, a Plainfield, N.J., native.
The frontcourt will feature New York’s JayVaughn Pinkston, along with junior James Bell, senior Mouph Yarou and freshman Daniel Ochefu.
Wright is high on Pinkston, the former Brooklyn Bishop Loughlin star.
“He’s dropped even more weight than he did his freshman year,” Wright said. “He’s really in great shape. I really expect big things from him this year.”
Wright also likes Ochefu’s ability to contribute right away.
“He’s a 6-11 long, skilled, smart basketball player,” he said. “He can really play the game. I wouldn’t say he’s spectacular in one area, but he’s a complete basketball player.”
Picked 12th after a 13-19 season, Wright thinks his team can jell as the season progresses.
“Because of it’s youth, this team has a large growth potential,” he said. “I think by the end of the year we could be a really good team.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.