Oct. 26, 2010

Ryan Arcidiacono, a 6-foot-3 point guard who led Neshaminy High into the PIAA Class AAAA basketball tournament last season as a sophomore, said Monday he had given an oral commitment to Villanova for the incoming Class of 2012.

Arcidiacono, who also was pursued by Temple and St. Joseph's, among other schools, narrowed his final choices to Villanova and Florida. He said he made his decision after attending the Wildcats' "Midnight Madness" practice Friday night.

"I went there and I fell in love with'Nova," Arcidiacono said Monday night. "I'd been there multiple times and had seen a lot of games. But I called coach [Jay] Wright [SUNDAY] nght to tell him, and he's like,'Are you kidding me?' I wanted to go there really badly."

Arcidiacono, of Langhorne, is ranked No. 8 at his position and 45th overall by the recruiting website Rivals.com, and is rated the fourth-best point guard and No. 31 overall by ESPN's recruiting site.

Arcidiacono made the 2010 Associated Press Class AAAA all-state second team. Considered a fine long-range shooter, he said he liked the Wildcats' fast-paced style.

"They're up and down," he said. "They've been among the Big East leaders in scoring the last couple of years. They get after it on defense. It's all about winning, and I'll do whatever it takes to win. "

Arcidiacono's high school coach, Jerry Devine, said that for his team, "It helps that your best player is also your hardest worker. "

"The kids feed off that," Devine said. "Ryan is developing into a verbal leader, but he always has led by example. In my years of coaching, I've never seen anybody work as hard as he does on his game, and enjoy it. "

Arcidiacono is the first Class of 2012 recruit to make a commitment to Villanova.

Contact staff writer Joe Juliano at 215-854-4494 or jjuliano@phillynews.com.