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Ryan Arcidiacono a fit with Knicks, Tom Thibodeau


Maybe the Ryan Arcidiacono-Tom Thibodeau union will be a match made in basketball heaven.

Villanova associate head coach George Halcovage, who coached Arcidiacono at Villanova from 2012-16, sure thinks so.

“He’s fired up,’’ Halcovage told The Post. “He’s a student of the game. Thibs, like Coach [Jay] Wright, is demanding and likes guys to have an edge. And that’s really one of his strengths, to bring that kind of mentality. He’s excited to have an opportunity. He believes he belongs in that league.’’

The Knicks officially announced Arcidiacono’s signing Thursday to a 10-day contract, taking the roster spot of the waived Wayne Selden.

The Villanova champion still is rehabbing a sprained ankle incurred in the G-League with the Maine Celtics. After four seasons with the Bulls, Arcidiacono went to Boston’s training camp but was cut.

Even when Knicks point guard Kemba Walker returns after reinjuring his left knee, it’s unlikely he’ll be playing back-to-back sets again this season. Meanwhile, Derrick Rose could be out until late February due to ankle surgery.

Ryan Arcidiacono and Tom Thibodeau
Getty Images (2)

Alec Burks is the Knicks’ current starting point guard, and Arcidiacono could be a top backup on some nights.

“Our scouts have been following him,’’ Thibodeau said Thursday before the Knicks hosted the Celtics. “They like him a lot. I watched him when he was playing with the Bulls. And I followed his career at Villanova. We’ll see how it goes. I like the things that he does. We’ll see what he can add to the team. So it’s a plus.’’

Asked if this will be a long-term signing, Thibodeau said, “We obviously like him. That’s why we brought him in. We’ll see how it unfolds.’’

Arcidiacono, best known in college for his feed to Kris Jenkins on the game-winning shot in the 2016 NCAA Tournament title game, apparently hurt his ankle during the G-League showcase.

“He’s been sort of recovering,’’ Thibodeau said. “He played in the G-League for a while. It’s one of those things. Guys twist ankles. He’s rehabbing and will be ready to go.’’

Defense is Arcidiacono’s calling card, as he’s a 37.3 percent 3-point shooter in 204 games.

“He plays hard is the most important thing,’’ Halcovage said. “He competes every possession. Guys who play hard are able to make plays and make up for any deficiencies. He’s a very intellectual defender. He’ll know the tendencies of who he’s matched up against, what their strengths and weaknesses are and what the team is trying to accomplish. He’s really cerebral in that.’’

Ryan Arcidiacono played for the G League Maine Celtics earlier this season.
Ryan Arcidiacono played for the G League Maine Celtics earlier this season.
NBAE via Getty Images

On Zoom Tuesday night, Wright said he’s reached out to his former point guard.

“I saw the rumor, so I said, ‘Is this true?’ ’’ Wright said. “He said yes, and I was like, ‘That’s awesome, man, I’m psyched for you.’ ’’

“We always talk in the summer when we see each other about basketball and players,’’ Wright said. “Leon looks at the game very similar to what Ryan does. He likes tough-minded, unselfish talented, team players. I know Tom Thibdodeau does also. Those two are a great pair. I know Ryan will fit into that culture extremely well and he’s proud to be a part of it.’’

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