2012 Villanova Basketball Preview: Mouphtaou Yarou

Chris Trotman

Each day leading up to the basketball season exhibition game we will be previewing the roster on a player-by-player basis. Next up is Mouphtaou Yarou

Hometown:Natitingou, Benin

High School: Montrose Christian

Height: 6'10"

Weight: 255

2011-2012 Stat Line

27.5 4.0-8.4 0.474 1-1 2.00 3.2-4.7 0.691 8.2 0.5 0.8 0.5 2.5 1.4 11.3

Mouph came in to Villanova as a highly regarded recruit, but as a typical "raw" African player that would need some development before he could fully reach his potential. Fast forward 3 years later and most 'Nova fans would say they are still waiting for Yarou to hit that next level. If last season was any indication though, he may be on his way there.

Yarou's rebounding has never been in question and his defensive ability in the paint is well-suited for the rugged Big East. Even on the perimeter, Yarou really can't be considered a liability. Where things start to go the other way is with his offensive game.

For the first couple of seasons, Wright worked to make Yarou a prototypical back-to-the-basket post player. Yarou never really flourished in this role. 2011 saw a change in philosophy, allowing Yarou more freedom to explore the high-post and face the basket more often. Yarou showed that he has the 10-12 foot jumper in his back pocket and that the can put it on the floor and drive as well. While some may argue that Yarou fell in love with the Dante Cunningham-esque jumper, there's no denying that his offensive production increased a ton last season.

This year, many consider the Wildcats' frontcourt to be the strength of the team behind Yarou, Maurice Sutton, JayVaughn Pinkston and Daniel Ochefu. Yarou will be expected to continue to increase his production on the offensive end and become the double-double machine that 'Nova fans have waited for patiently.

Best Case Scenario: Yarou averages somewhere close to a double-double and becomes a premier post-player in the Big East, stabilizing the Wildcats offense and defense at both ends.

Worst Case Scenario: Behind an influx of new guards, Yarou's offensive role reverts to his freshman and sophomore years and he struggles to find his rhythm.


The Wisdom of Crowds Returns

Ed's Wisdom of Crowds experiment is back for the 2012-2013 season. Following each of our previews we will be sampling the VUHoops community on the projected performances of the Villanova roster for the upcoming season.

Bleacher Report predicts that Mouph will be the team’s second highest scorer behind JayVaughn Pinkston, with his PPG increasing to 14.5 while playing 29.0 MPG. They write,

"Yarou is a lock to be Villanova's starting center in this upcoming year. Nova nation is expecting big things from the big senior from Benin, who is poised to have a make or break season that will dictate the rest of his basketball career. A known defensive presence, Yarou will be looking to add a few more weapons to the arsenal of his offensive game this year."

How Many PPG Will Mouph Score?

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