Posted by EJacoby on June 7th, 2012
The 2012 NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 28, in New York City. As we have done for the last several years, RTC’s team of writers (including Andrew Murawa, Kevin Doyle, Evan Jacoby, Matt Patton, and Danny Spewak) will provide comprehensive breakdowns of each of the 35 collegians most likely to hear his name called by David Stern in the first round on draft night. We’ll work backwards, starting with players who are projected near the end of the first round before getting into the lottery as June progresses. As an added bonus, we’ll also bring you a scouting take from NBADraft.net’s Aran Smith at the bottom of each player evaluation.
Note: Click here for all published 2012 NBA Draft profiles.
Player Name: Fab Melo
Height/Weight: 7’0” / 255 lbs.
NBA Position: Center
Projected Draft Range: Late First Round
After Being in Coach Boeheim's Doghouse For One Season, Fab Melo Improved Dramatically as a Sophomore (AP Photo)
Overview: After playing less than 10 minutes per game as a freshman and looking like a complete stiff, Fab Melo showed drastic improvements in his second season at Syracuse. He was one of the most indispensable parts of a 34-3 team, witnessed by the fact that the Orange lost two of their three games when Melo was not with the team. He is incredibly mobile for a seven-footer and possesses a 7’3” wingspan, making him an elite shot-blocker who dominated the paint in Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone. He averaged 2.9 blocks as a sophomore in just over 25 minutes per game, good for the best block percentage in the Big East. With improved mobility and conditioning, the big man became more of a factor offensively (7.8 PPG) on mainly lob passes and putbacks. Melo is still incredibly raw on offense in terms of one-on-one post moves, but his exponential improvement over the past year is a good sign that he can still add to his game. His impact on the game goes beyond the box score, as he alters opposing shots and game plans with his imposing defensive presence, and he also helps open up driving lanes for teammates by eating up space on the offensive end. Melo was academically ineligible twice during the 2011-12 season, including during the most crucial time of the season (the NCAA Tournament). There are still some concerns about his attitude, temperament, and ability to stay focused on basketball. But when he is locked in, Melo is a legitimate defensive force that still has much room for improvement.
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