Thursday, November 12, 2009

'09-'10 Villanova Wildcats

2008-2009: 30-8, 13-5, Final Four

Key Losses: F Shane Clark, F Dante Cunningham

Key Additions: G/F Dominic Cheek, F Taylor King, F Mouphtaou Yarou

Projected Starting Five:
Corey Fisher, Junior, Guard, 10.8 points per game
Scottie Reynolds, Senior, Guard, 15.2 points per game
Corey Stokes, Junior, Guard, 9.3 points per game
Mouphtaou Yarou, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season
Antonio Pena, Junior, Forward, 5.1 points per game

Fresh off a Final Four appearance last season, Nova comes into this year with one of the top backcourts in all of College Basketball. Scottie Reynolds' decision to stay in college for the time being is a huge boost to this squad, but he's not their only threat with the ball in his hands. Big East Sixth Man of the Year Corey Fisher should improve upon an impressive Sophomore season, and Corey Stokes has proven to be deadly from behind the arc. The absence of Reggie Redding's defense until December will be a blow to the team, but the Corey's should be able to handle the load in the meantime.

In the frontcourt, Antonio Pena has some big shoes to fill with the loss of Dante Cunningham, and he'll have to improve on his 5.1 ppg 4.2 rpg from last year to help the team out down the stretch. The additions of Mouphtaou Yarou and former Dukie Taylor King will take some of the load off Pena, and Yarou looks to be a superstar in the making.

Player to Watch: Mouphtaou Yarou. At 6'10" 250lbs, Yarou has the opportunity to make an enormous impact as a freshman on this squad. As Luke Winn of put it, "If he's a passable rebounder/defender in the post as a freshman, they'll contend in the Big East; if he's a stellar rebounder/defender and a double-digit scorer, they'll be in the thick of the national-title race." Good stuff.

Prediction: Big East Title. Another Final Four appearance.


  1. Did I hear that Yarou is actually 25 yrs old instead of his listed 19?

    He would lose most of his eligibility if that's true.

  2. Mouphtaou Yarou may be my favorite player. What is a better name, his or Zeffy?

  3. According to the Sporting News: a player named Mouphtaou Yarou is listed on the roster of a team that competed in the 2007 Africa Cup for Men's Clubs tourney. He's listed as being from the hometown of Matitingou, one letter off from what Villanova lists as his hometown in Benin, with a birthdate of June 26, 1984. Villanova's Yarou is from Natitingou.

  4. Mouphtaou is in the running as a name for my second born son. Obviously Tadihito will be my first.

  5. Ohhhhhh...I always get Matitingou and Natitingou mixed up too. They MUST be different guys then!

    If you're going to change your identity, be a little more creative than that.

  6. Sec202 - I still think Serge Zwicker has the best college basketball name ever.

  7. Serge is still the best. He was clearly the reason why Carolina was so good that year.

    Zeffy vs. Mouphtaou is a tough one, but I am leaning towards Mouphtaou because the first part of his name resembles Moof who is a king in his own right

  8. Bout time Wright recruited some height. Taylor King's tall, but charmin soft. Plus once a Dookie, always a Dookie. So, you know, I hate him.
    Where's this guy from? Mattingly? Does everyone from there sport a horrible grey patch under their bottom lip?

    With all this time off, Reggie Redding is constructing a new "grinding device." His new nickname is "The Vaporizer."
    I always liked Yinka Dare from GW. He went on to have one assist in his NBA career.

  9. Yinka Dare. Wow. I think I nicknamed my dog after him growing up.

    God Shammgod from Providence wasn't bad