Next up we will look at Syracuse big man Fab Melo and his chances of becoming a first round pick in the NBA Draft on June 28th…
Name – Fabricio de Melo (aka Fab Melo)
Height – 7’0’’
Weight – 255
Position – C
Class – Sophomore
Hometown – Juiz de Forz, Brazil
2011-2012 Statistics – 7.8 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 2.9 BPG
What a difference a year can make.
After his disappointing freshman year at Syracuse, Fab Melo clearly had a lot to work on if he ever hoped to become the player that he was hyped up to be. He spent all of last summer getting into shape, trimming over 30 pounds off his frame and turning him into one of the best defensive big men in the country.
Now with a successful sophomore year under his belt (excluding his two suspensions due to academic troubles) in which he was named the Big East Defensive Player of the Year, Melo has put himself in good position to be selected in the first round of the NBA Draft later this month. He is still viewed as a ‘project’ but his potential remains through the roof and NBA scouts caught a glimpse of that this past season. In December, Fab set a Syracuse school record with ten blocks in a game against Seton Hall, showing everyone that he is now capable of being a defensive presence in the middle at the next level.
However his game still requires a lot of refining. First of all his offensive game is limited and he will need to improve his jump shot and post moves if he wishes to be a consistent contributor in the NBA. In addition, there are doubters who are unsure if his stellar defensive play will carry over once he leaves the zone and has to man up every possession against the best players in the world.
Considering that Melo has only been playing organized basketball for six years, his learning curve is much different than other prospects. If he can continue to develop his game, both offensively and defensively, at this current pace then he could end up being one of the steals of this year’s draft since he is projected to go somewhere late in the first round.
Draft Prediction – 24th overall to the Cleveland Cavaliers. If the Cavs grab Harrison Barnes with the fourth pick, which I think they should, then Barnes, Fab and Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving give Cleveland a great young core heading into the future.