I've been a Syracuse Orange basketball fan since I was a kid the late 1970s. My mom attended Syracuse, I have many relatives who live in the area, and I liked the run and gun style Syracuse used to play back then, all of which is why I started rooting for the Orange.
In both 1987 and 1996, Syracuse reached the championship game in the NCAA Tournament, but we lost both times. The 1987 loss was especially tough, if Derrick Coleman had made a free throw or two we would have won.
Syracuse Won First College Basketball Championship in 2003 with Carmelo Anthony
In 2003, a special player by the name of Carmelo Anthony, or Melo for short, led my Syracuse Orange to our first NCAA Championship in college basketball. Melo was great that year, his freshmen year and only year in college, averaging 22.2 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. He was the MVP in the NCAA Tournament, where we beat Kansas, 81-78, in the championship game.
In 2012, the Syracuse Orange are 23-1 and ranked second in the country. The team has a 7' player from Brazil named Fab Melo. Fab Melo is no Carmelo Anthony, but without Fab Melo on the team I don't think Syracuse can win the NCAA Championship in 2012.
Syracuse was 20-0 in 2012 When Fab Melo was Suspended
Syracuse was 20-0 this season, when the team announced that Fab Melo was suspended from the team for some type of academic issue. Without Fab Melo, we lost our first game of the season to Notre Dame on January 21, 2012, by a score of 67-58. We then won two close games vs Cincinnati and West Virginia without Fab.
Syracuse reinstated Fab Melo on February 2, 2012, and he played last Saturday, February 4, 2012, as we blew out St. John's, 95-70, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Fab Melo scored 14 points, while making five of the six shots he took, and had three rebounds and two blocks in 21 minutes played in the game.
Fab Melo Blocked 10 Shots in Game vs Seton Hall This Season
For the season, Fab Melo is averaging 7.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game, while shooting 57.6% from the field. At 7', he is easily the tallest player on the team, and provides us with a much needed presence around the basket. Back in late December of 2011, Fab Melo blocked 10 shots vs the Seton Hall Pirates.
I'm not sure the 2012 Syracuse Orange can win the NCAA Championship this season. We don't have a superstar player like Carmelo Anthony on the team to make clutch plays in big games. If we are going to win this year though, it will take a complete team effort, and that includes Fab Melo scoring, rebounding, and blocking shots in the paint.
Fab Melo Can Be Second Melo to Lead Syracuse Orange to a College Basketball Championship
If we do win the 2012 NCAA Championship in college basketball, Fab Melo will likely be a big reason why. If he can lead us to another championship, Fab Melo will be the second Melo to lead us to the promised land.