*Huge and physical
*Good shot blocker
*Can shoot a face-up jump shot
*Could be a better rebounder
*Still learning the game
Melo is huge, which as any NBA scout will tell you, you just can’t coach. So he’s got that as a starting point. He already has an NBA-level skill — shot blocking. He’s still learning the game, another plus because he doesn’t have any bad habits to get rid of. He’s been projected as a late first-round or early second-round pick.
Melo was one of the most improved players in Division I as a sophomore after losing 30 pounds and improving his conditioning and stamina. That allowed Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim to nearly triple Melo’s minutes from his freshman season, and it allowed him to rack up some numbers. He blocked 88 shots to lead the Big East, and he was chosen the league’s defensive player of the year. Unfortunately for Melo and for Syracuse, he missed three games in January because of an academic issue, and then was ruled ineligible again just before the start of the NCAA Tournament. A team that many pundits thought had a chance to win the national championship wasn’t quite the same without Melo in the middle.
7.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 0.7 apg, 1.4 tpg, 0.5 spg, 2.9 bpg, 25.4 mpg, .566 FG, .633 FT
Melo set a Syracuse record with 10 blocked shots against Seton Hall. He also scored 12 points to give him his first career double-double.
Reminds me of:
What Insiders Say:
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim
“He is a decent shooter. I let him shoot a shot or two, and if he misses a couple, that’s it. I wasn’t going to stop him after a made three [against UConn]. After the last miss, I said that’s enough."
What Outsiders Say:
Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard
“Night and day [between Melo’s freshman year and sophomore year.] It’s miraculous. The staff deserves an unbelievable amount of credit, and I think Fab deserves an unbelievable amount of credit for transforming his body. That kid is a pleasure to watch on film.’’