Fab Melo has a J
It's tough playing college basketball on the interior. Opponents grab your jersey, jostle you, plant a forearm in your back.
So don't blame Fab Melo for a little loose self-expression on Saturday. Don't blame the 7-foot Orange center for taking -- and making -- three jump shots in SU's win over Connecticut.
"It is fun," Melo said. "(Defenders), they give away space thinking you're not going to make it. And when you make it, it's great. It's fun."
Melo started the Syracuse scoring Saturday with a jumper from the free-throw line. He made two more jump shots -- one to tie the game at 12, the next one to tie it at 14. Melo finished with eight points on 4-of-7 shooting.
"It's a thing I've been working on a lot, me and Mike Hopkins," Melo said. "Today, I hit my first one so I said, "Why not shoot a second one?'"
His coach? Well, Jim Boeheim did not seem displeased at all with Melo's show of range.
"He's a decent shooter. He really is," Boeheim said. "I let him shoot a shot or two. If he misses the first couple, that's it. He made three. I wasn't going to stop him then. The last one I said, "That's enough.'"
Someone jokingly asked Kris Joseph in the SU locker room whether the Orange would now encourage Melo from 3-point range.
"I'm not encouraging it," Joseph said. "If it's in the late-game situations and for some reason we just so happen to give him the ball and he has to shoot it, I won't mind. But if it's in the flow of the offense and he just pulls up for a three, I might have to question that."