March 11, 2011
MELO DELIVERS FAB PERFORMANCE
A week ago this very day, Fab Melo approached Dion Waiters up there at the Melo Center, named for an altogether different guy, and made a declaration that in another time, place and circumstance might have inspired some interesting discussion.
You may remember that Bart Scott, the New York Jets' linebacker, had his "Can't wait!" moment back in January as he gazed ahead to a trip to Pittsburgh for the AFC championship bout. And he's since become more celebrated than he'd even been.
Well, Melo -- that is, Fabricio de Melo -- can now be considered a kind of Scott Lite.
"He came over to me in practice the day before the DePaul game," recalled Waiters, "and he said, 'Watch this.' That's all he said. 'Watch this.' Nothing else. And then Fab went out the next day and just starting balling."
He scored 10 points against the Blue Demons. Didn't miss any of his five attempts from the field. Hit the boards, too. And blocked two shots and made a steal. Thus, did the Brazilian caterpillar (admittedly, a big one at 7-foot and 250ish pounds) make a move towards butterfly status.
Turns out, Fab did it again on Thursday afternoon. He scored 12 points. Didn't miss any of his five attempts from the field. Hit the boards, too. And blocked two shots and made a steal.
Only this time, he did it on the bright Madison Square Garden stage while helping his Syracuse University Orange to a 79-73 victory over 17th-ranked St. John's (as opposed to those feeble Blue Demons in the Carrier Dome) in a quarterfinal matchup in the forever-ballyhooed Big East Tournament.
Yeah, Fab Melo. Our Fab Melo. The very one. And don't kid yourself. Without him, SU would be home right now, shaking its head.
"I was very surprised," admitted Waiters, like Melo, an Orange freshman (though eight inches shorter). "Especially because he did it in a game like that."