Villanova Basketball announced on Tuesday that as a part of its 100th season, it would be retiring two jerseys of former Wildcat legends. The two players who will receive the honor include Ryan Arcidiacono, who will have his ceremony Feb. 12th vs. Marquette, and Kyle Lowry, who will have his jersey retired Feb. 26th vs. St. John’s.
Each point guard had a profound impact throughout their tenure at Villanova. Arcidiacono, widely known as “Arch,” sported the number 15. Throughout his four years at the university, he averaged 11.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.2 steals per contest in 144 career games. Arcidiacono was dominant from start to finish during his time as a Wildcat. Entering his freshman year in the 2012-2013 season, he was named team captain, and immediately productive and made the Big East All-Freshman team. In his junior season, Arcidiacono received the 2014-2015 Big East Player of the Year award. During his senior season, the 6’3” point guard excelled as a player and a leader. Arcidiacono led the team to go 27-4 throughout the regular season, then win the school’s first National Championship in 31 years. He memorably brought up the ball and dropped off a pass to a trailing Kris Jenkins, who hit the game-winning shot to win the title. In addition to being on the 2015-2016 All-Big East second team, Arcidiacono was on the 2016 NCAA All-Tournament team, 2016 NCAA Tournament All-Region team, and was named the 2016 Final Four Most Outstanding Player. Arcidiacono had an outstanding impact at the university and helped bring the Villanova basketball program to another level. As a result, his well-known 15 will not be worn by any other men’s basketball player and will hang proudly in the rafters.
Lowry, who donned number 1 at Villanova, played only two seasons with the team before moving on to the professional level. However, throughout his brief period as a Wildcat, he played a critical role to the team’s success. Lowry’s freshman year was in the 2004-2005 season. The 6’ guard averaged 7.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2 assists per game, as he was named to the Big East All-Freshman team. In the following season, Lowry improved his overall game, and emerged as one of the best players in the conference. He played six more minutes per game, and averaged 11 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game. Lowry also improved defensively as he averaged 2.3 steals per game—increasing from 1.3 steals per game from the season prior. Lowry was named to the 2005-2006 All-Big East second team, and declared for the 2006 NBA Draft. He was selected as the 24th overall pick and has since built himself a well-rounded NBA career. Today, Lowry is a five-time NBA All Star, and recently made history by helping the Toronto Raptors win their first NBA championship last season. After excelling in his two years as a Wildcat, Lowry has proudly represented Villanova basketball throughout his professional career. Hence, the former Villanovan will be honored as one of many great players to have contributed to the program.
Being given this honor solidifies players as all-time greats within a program. Arcidiacono and Lowry made enormous contributions to the school which have helped shape what it is today. Their jerseys will hang in the rafters, as their legacies will forever be engrained at Villanova University.