Fab Melo's Arch Nemesis: The English Language

Mar 8, 2012; New York, NY, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Niels Giffey (5) loses the ball as he pushes Syracuse Orange center Fab Melo (51) during the second half of the third round at the Big East Tournament held at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

There were a lot of rumors flying around the first and second times Fab Melo was suspended from the Syracuse Orange basketball team this past season. As is wont to happen anytime something like that happened.

The most obvious answer staring everyone in the face was that Fab was trying to keep up with an education in a secondary language while also putting in the hours necessary to compete for a major program in college basketball.

That's what Fab is telling NBA scouts who ask about the off-court issues that kept him off the court for the NCAA Tournament and they seem to be fine with that.

His explanation is simple: Until four years ago, the Brazilian didn't even speak English.

Melo says team officials appear to be "comfortable" with his answers, and that he still expects to be drafted in the first round though not among the first 14 picks.

Of course, ask a current SU student to tell you how many times they saw Fab at Chuck's on a Wednesday night and they'll probably tell you they lost count, but I suppose the other answer sounds better.

Personally, I blame the sorority that tutored him.

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