Villanova freshman Mouphtaou Yarou was supposed to help ease the loss of Daunte Cunningham, Dwayne Anderson and Shane Clark. The 6-10 forward was the prize of a stellar recruiting class for coach Jay Wright, a guy who was big, athletic and could potentially blossom into a post presence the Wildcats rarely have.
That may have to wait a year.
|Mouphtaou Yarou blocks a shot against Penn.
According to a report from FOXSports.com's Jeff Goodman, Yarou will likely miss the rest of the season due to a condition that's not life-threatening. Yarou was sent home from the Puerto Rico Tip-Off due to a viral infection. His absence is probably related to that, but no word on what that reason is yet.
So what's it mean for Villanova -- if he is out for the year? It's not a killer, it just reduces their frontcourt depth.
Yarou played a total of 37 minutes in blowout wins against Fairleigh Dickinson and Penn, and wasn't really a factor in either game, averaging 5 points, 4 rebounds and 1 block. 'Nova (6-0) played well enough to win the Tip-Off without Yarou, winning close games against George Mason, Dayton and Ole Miss.
That leaves Antonio Pena and Taylor King as the team's only capable big men. When Reggie Redding returns from a suspension it'll give 'Nova a little more size, but nothing substantial.
Still, I don't think it sinks their Big East title hopes of Final Four aspirations. Villanova's defense doesn't rely on big guys swatting shots, but mobile, aggressive wing players who can play man-to-man and crash the boards when needed.
Mike Miller's random musings can also be found on Twitter (@BeyndArcMMiller).