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Mouphtaou Yarou- Proving Me Wrong

Yarou's play in the first 3 games of the BIG EAST season is what Villanova Fans were expecting when he stepped on campus 3 years ago.


Less than two weeks ago upon the conclusion of the out-of-conference portion of the schedule, I labeled Villanova senior captain Mouphtaou Yarou the most disappointing player on this year’s team.

Heading into the rugged Big East portion of the season, he was averaging 7.9 PPG vs. our Wisdom of Crowds Experiment prediction of 12.5. His key stats – MPG, PPG, FG%, RPG and SPG were then the poorest since his illness-shortened freshman campaign. His FG% had dropped each year by an astonishing 5.5%, and then stood at 41.9% vs. 58.3% as a freshman. His 0.5 BPG were half what they were during his freshman campaign and his rebounding had dropped from 8.2 RPG last season to 5.0 this season.

I summed up my disappointment by proclaiming that the potential that was Mouph has all but vanished.

Three games into the Big East season, it is looking like I better start working on my apology to the big guy. Mouph has been on a tear, and this Villanova team might just go only as far as Mouph carries them. While three games are not enough to name Mouph to the Big East's first team, you’ve got to love his trend line, as detailed in the table below.

Mouph's Stat Line...

Non-Conference 22.2 7.9 5.7 41.2 3.9 64.7 5 0.5 1.8
BIG EAST 32 10 6.7 46 4.3 71 11.7 0.7 1.3
Change +9.8 +2.1 +1 +4.8 +0.4 +6.3 +6.7 +0.2 -0.5

Others are also taking notice of Mouph’s resurgence.

Joe Juliano wrote an article in this morning's Philadelphia Inquirer entitled, "Wildcats’ Mouphtaou Yarou Rejuvenated." Jay Wright said of Mouph after the Syracuse game, "[The Carrier Dome] is a tough place to play. [Syracuse] is a tough team to play against if you’re an inside player. They’re aggressive, they’re long, they’re tough inside. I thought he was a warrior. I was really proud of him. He rebounded and made plays offensively. Defensively he made plays. I thought he was awesome."

If indeed Mouph has turned the corner and is finally realizing the potential we all looked forward to with breathless anticipation when he was signed as a highly-touted recruit out of Montrose Christian, no one will be happier to eat crow than yours truly.

Anyone have any good crow recipes?