Sunday, December 9, 2012

Breakout Candidate: Achraf Yacoubou

The last two games have revealed something about the Villanova basketball team: They seem to be better when Achraf Yacoubou is on the floor. When Ash plays more than 10 minutes in a game, Villanova has only lost once this season. More importantly, in each of Villanova's five wins, he has played more than ten minutes.Last night, in 25 minutes, the second highest total of his Villanova career, Yacoubou scored a career high 13 points, while also grabbing six rebounds, another career best. Also worth noting is that he seems to play solid defense, something that has been lacking as of late.

On the converse, Villanova has generally played poorer when Ryan Arcidiacono is forced to play more minutes, averaging 36 minutes per game in Villanova's four losses, two minutes more than his average for the season. That's unsurprising given his status as a freshman. I'm not confidence that Ash can play point guard, but it's not like Arcidiacono is protecting the ball much better than the other options. Plus, Ryan simply needs a breather every once in a while.

I could honestly see Ash turning into a player who can score in double figures consistently within the next year, especially if he further refines his jump shot.

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