PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The BIG EAST Conference has named Louisville guard Russ Smith and Villanova guard Ryan Arcidiacono the winners of the league's weekly men's basketball honors for the week-ending Dec. 30.
Smith was named BIG EAST Player of the Week after he keyed Louisville’s 80-77 win against No. 23 Kentucky in a rematch of Final Four teams from last season. He scored 21 points, including 17 in the second half, matched his career high with seven rebounds and added three assists and three steals. Smith, who ranks third in the BIG EAST in scoring this season (19.8 points per game), has hit for at least 20 points in six games this season and has had at least three steals eight times.
Arcidiacono was named BIG EAST Rookie of the Week after he scored a team-high 17 points with three assists in Villanova’s only game of the week, a 70-60 victory against NJIT. He played 30 minutes of turnover-free basketball to help the Wildcats to their fifth consecutive win. Arcidiacono enters conference play as the team’s second-leading scorer at 11.5 points per game.
BIG EAST Player of the Week
RUSS SMITH, Louisville, G, Jr.
BIG EAST Rookie of the Week
RYAN ARCIDIACONO, Villanova, G, Fr.
BIG EAST Honor Roll
SHABAZZ NAPIER, Connecticut, G, So.
Scored 13 points with eight rebounds, four assists and three steals in a 61-53 win against Washington.
LADONTAE HENTON, Providence, F, So.
Scored a career-high 37 points, including a stretch of 24 straight Friar points in the second half, in a 69-68 loss at Brown.
DANE MILLER, Rutgers, F, Sr.
Scored 18 points with five assists, four rebounds and two blocks in a 68-56 win against Rider.
BRIAN OLIVER, Seton Hall, G/F, Jr.
Scored 20 points — all in the first half — on 6-of-8 shooting from 3-point range in a 60-59 win against Stony Brook.
JAWANZA POLAND, USF, G, Sr.
Had team highs of 16 points and eight rebounds in a 61-57 win against George Mason