The Syracuse Orange will take on the West Virginia Mountaineers this Saturday (ESPNU) and it's starting to look more and more like they'll have to do it without Fabricio de Melo. If that's the case, so be it.
The Big East is a weird, tangled mess, so no Syracuse fan should feel safe either way going into the game. Even if the Mounties are coming off a butt-thumping at the hands of the 9-11 St. John's Red Storm.
The 'Neers are 15-6 and 6-4 in their last ten. Their losses veer from understood (Baylor, UConn) to strange (St. John's, Kent State). Coach and sweatsuit aficionado Bob Huggins is hoping that Fab Melo's academic troubles keep him out of the game so they can avoid another one of those losses:
"The reality is we are going to go play Syracuse and if Fab Melo is back they’re the best team in the country," said WVU coach Bob Huggins.
It's all about Kevin Jones for WVU. He's scored 20 or more points in five-straight games, including 26 against St. John's. He's averaging 20.9 points per game and 11.9 rebounds per game on the season.
Second-leading scorer Darryl "Truck" Bryant (17.4) is in the midst of a slump, which is a good thing considering he's a three-point threat. Averaging seven three-point attempts every game, he's only make two or three of them in that time.
The No. 3 Orange need to keep the momentum going from the Cincinnati win. Syracuse is 14-0 at the Carrier Dome this season, making the Orange the lone team in the Big East with a perfect home record. They'd like to keep that intact as well. SU owns a 33-16 lead in the all-time series.