Mar 9, 2012; New York, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange center Fab Melo (51) drives to the basket as Cincinnati Bearcats guard Dion Dixon (3) gives chase during the first half of the semifinals of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
With his sophomore season basically over and alleged academic issues looming over the rest of his college career, Fab Melo will likely forgo his junior and senior seasons with the Syracuse Orange and enter the 2012 NBA Draft, according to Pete Thamel of the NY Times.
This is expected to be the end of Melo’s career at Syracuse, as multiple sources, both in the N.B.A. and at Syracuse, have said Melo plans to declare for theafter this season. Melo is a sophomore, but he will be 22 by the time of the draft in June. While he is not a guaranteed first-round pick, some N.B.A. team will probably be interested in his 7-foot, 275-pound frame. If he does not make the N.B.A., Melo could return to his native Brazil to play professionally.
While many had assumed it was possible that Melo would leave for the NBA after this year, it didn't feel like a sure thing, at least not until news that his academic issues were reportedly not over. He's certainly not ready in the real sense (can you imagine him posting up against Dwight Howard), but he's certainly ready in the "potential" way that so many guys enter the league with."
This development leaves Orange fans with the sinking feeling that they're not only losing Scoop Jardine and Kris Joseph after this year but also Fab Melo and Dion Waiters, another sophomore who has been rumored to leave early. That would be three starters and the Big East Sixth Man of the Year.