Coach: Yarou set for Wildcats' opener

Updated: November 10, 2009, 12:52 PM ET
By Dana O'Neil | ESPN.com

Villanova coach Jay Wright said freshman Mouphtaou Yarou will play in the Wildcats season opener on Friday, despite a report questioning his age.

"He has been cleared by the eligibility center and will play," Wright said.

Yarou's eligibility came into question after a Sporting News report said Yarou was listed on an international basketball Web site as a player in a 2007 African Cup tournament. That would make him 25, not 19 as listed on the Villanova Web site.

But Wright said Yarou said he did not play in the tourney and that the university had paperwork that included Yarou's birthdate.

Wright said Villanova is working with the NCAA to clarify the issue.

Yarou, a 6-foot-9, 240-pound power forward, came to the United States in January 2008 from the West African Republic of Benin. He played in the U.S. at Montrose Christian Academy in Rockville, Md., before signing on at Villanova. He played in the Jordan Brand All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden and was the MVP of the Capitol Classic.

Villanova, No. 6 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches preseason poll, faces Fairleigh Dickinson in its season opener.

Dana O'Neil covers college basketball for ESPN.com.

Dana O'Neil | email

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