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Report: Status for Villanova’s Daniel Ochefu is uncertain on Saturday

Villinova Virginia Basketball

Villanova forward Daniel Ochefu (23) fights for the loose ball with Virginia forward Isaiah Wilkins (21) during an NCAA basketball game Saturday Dec. 19, 2015, in Charlottesville, Va. (AP Photo/Andrew Shurtleff)


Villanova has been playing without senior center Daniel Ochefu since he suffered a concussion in practice last week and the Wildcats could be without their experienced big man over the weekend.

According to a report from Terry Toohey of the Delaware County Daily Times, Villanova head coach Jay Wright said that Ochefu continues to go through the concussion protocol and that his status is uncertain for this Saturday’s game against Providence. If Ochefu shows any symptoms of concussion, he would need to start the concussion protocol over again.

The 6-foot-11 Ochefu is a key piece for Villanova because he’s one of two players on the roster who are taller than 6-foot-7. For the season, Ochefu is averaging 9.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. Without Ochefu in the lineup, Villanova is 2-0 with wins over St. John’s and Creighton but facing Providence will be a much tougher test.

With Ochefu in the lineup, the Wildcats fell, 82-76, in overtime at Providence as Ochefu finished with seven points and 11 rebounds before fouling out. One thing that could help Villanova (if they’re without Ochefu) against Providence is the status of Friars sophomore Ben Bentil. The Big East’s leading scorer is listed as day-to-day and could also be out or limited against Villanova.