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Syracuse vs. Kutztown: The Unveiling Of Fab Melo

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I don't know about you but I find it hard to get into basketball right now. There's too much excitement over SU football, which is a new and wonderful experience.

Guess we don't have a choice though, the season is approaching. Tonight's exhibition against Kutztown at least gives us a chance to east into things. And start answering a lot of the questions we have about this squad.

Namely...what's the deal with Fab Melo? Is he a monster? Does he still have the training wheels on? Will he score a lot? Break schools records for blocks? Or struggle to keep up?

One thing's for sure, Rick Jackson isn't about to let his new frontcourt-mate go into battle unprepared.

Fab Melo has a confession to make: His first week of encounters with Rick Jackson terrified him.

"He talks during the game. He pushes me. Elbows me and all this stuff," Melo said. "And then I got used to it. Now we go at it against each other and I’m glad he’s on my team. I’m glad that I don’t have to play against him."

Jackson was merely doing what Arinze Onuaku had done to him. Built him up with tough love to prepare for the rigors ahead.

While Melo should be able to provide an immediate impact with his size and agility, don't expect him to start throwing down 15-15 type nights just yet.

"He is not ready," said SU coach Jim Boeheim, "to go out there and dominate."

I do like the idea that, at some point in the future, it is already determined that he will dominate. So let's go with that.

Yesterday I pondered whether or not Dion Waiters had somehow moved his way into the starting line-up based on what we've seen on the off-season. So far, there's no indication that he's supplanted Triche or Jardine as a starter. Still, it might be a moot point for what could be the deepest Syracuse team in years.

You know Boeheim loves to keep his line-up as lean as possible. Last year, it basically came down to seven players. More often then not, that's how Jimmy B likes it. He's not going to try to expand his roster if he doesn't have to. So take that knowledge with you when you hear Boehei talk about the potential for a 10-man rotation this season:

"We do have 10 guys who we think are capable," Boeheim said at SU's annual media day on Oct. 15. "So we'll see how practice and we'll see how the early part of the season goes. The guys who are ready will play."

"I think we have some guys who are very capable," Boeheim said. "We think the 10 guys we have can play. We don't think that any of the 10 guys we have are not ready. We think they will be ready and capable of coming in and playing. I don't have any reservations about these 10 guys. I think they can come in and contribute."

As for the Golden Bears, don't expect any kind of LeMoyne craziness tonight. They're loaded with freshmen and only five of their thirteen players were with the team last season.

Syracuse Men's Basketball Sounds of Practice