51 - Fab Melo

7-0, 255 Center
Syracuse Sophomore
06/20/90 (30.6 yrs)
Westin, FL
High School
Jump Shot
NBA Ready
Post Skills

NBA Comparison: Dan Gadzuric/Brendan Haywood

Strengths: In terms of physical tools, Melo is exactly what you look for in a C prospect … Is a legit 7 footer with a 270 lb frame that could slim down more with added conditioning to around 260 … Could potentially be one of the most physically imposing bigs in the NBA in time … Combined his fantastic size with a 7’3 wingspan that allows him to play even bigger … His main value as a prospect comes from his potential defensively … Improved his conditioning by a mile as a sophomore, and became a huge factor in Syracuse’s vaunted 2-3 zone defensive scheme …Was the Big East Defensive Player of the Year … Could be a huge factor defending the true back to basket C’s in the NBA with more development … Very effective shot-blocking threat, and has potential as a rim protector … Offensively, Melo has a solid jump hook (especially with his right hand) that is near unblockable with his length … Shows flashes of a turnaround jumper when he turns over his left shoulder … Finishes well, when in shape, around the rim … Plays within 5 ft. of the rim the vast majority of the time on offense, with no qualms about it, and that is ideal with his size … Runs the floor well for his size … A factor on simple alley-oop passes from teammates … Underrated passing skills … Has the upside to continue to develop further on both ends …

Weaknesses: Really not much of a skilled player on the offensive end, and will likely always be a 5th option on the floor … Is a bit too mechanical in and out of his moves and will be contested very easily until he improves that … Keeps things simple on offense, but is sometimes painfully predictable with his moves … Seems to preconceive what he will do with the ball as soon as he gets it without reading the action around him … Has that bad habit many young bigmen do of putting the ball lower than his chest when he gets offensive rebounds or receives entry passes, allowing quick handed guards to get steals or knock the ball free … Needs most of his shots created for him … Doesn’t always play as strong as his imposing size indicates, and can struggle to finish with contact at times … Doesn’t have great hands, and will bobble passes at times that hit his hands … Not a great rebounder, which is concerning for his size … Will have to show that he can play outside of the paint in an NBA that has a defensive 3 second rule … Was able to plant in the paint playing in the Cuse zone and rarely strayed from the immediate paint area, and will have to adjust to a more pick and roll style NBA … Although he runs the floor as well as he can for his size, he still is a lumbering kind of big who is best suited for a team who doesn’t play up-tempo … There are still questions about his conditioning after a forgettable freshman season in which he was sluggish and out of shape for most of the year … Has the frame and physique that needs to be conditioned constantly, as he can get out of shape fairly quickly if he isn’t careful … Has some concerns that will come up during the interview and character evaluation process, including a domestic violence charge and being academically ineligible for the NCAA tournament as a sophomore … At times is a bit hotheaded on the court, getting on himself or the refs too heavily when he makes mistakes … A bit foul prone, but is doing a better job of going straight up when blocking shots … Poor foul line shooter … Has a raw basketball IQ, and is clearly still learning the game …

Overall: Melo’s physical tools and perceived upside is what he relies on as a prospect … As a true 7’ big, he will get plenty of chances to develop in the NBA … He is an effective shot-blocker and looks like an NBA C right now, but questions remain … He needs a lot of refinement offensively, he must improve his fundamentals defensively: Never stood out as a rebounder at Syracuse. Will he stay in shape. And he also has had a few off-court issues … A team will select him because of his physical tools and youth and he’s projected as a likely late first round pick …

Jorrye Nixon 5/30/12

Strengths: Entering his freshman year at Syracuse, Fab Melo is a true 7 foot center with great length… He has better than average footwork for a young center his size at this part of his career … With nice mechanics and a comfortable feel, he has a promising mid range jumper, that if made on a consistent basis will prove to be a deadly weapon moving forward considering his length and release point … He’s a capable passer out of the post … Positions himself well underneath the basket, making himself an easy target for entry passes, and the number 1 candidate on the floor for offensive rebounds and putbacks … His wingspan, combined with his above average mobility for a 7 footer will make him a shotblocking force in the paint … Has worked hard in the past year to shed excess lbs and tone his body …

Weaknesses:  Fab has the size and length you look for in a prospect at the center position, however he’s raw and will need to work on every offensive aspect of his game … He has some basic post moves, but the fluidity/explosiveness in his execution is too slow at the moment …Will need to work on developing more in depth post moves to become more of an offensive threat … He’s not the greatest athlete, and can get lost in an offensive set as he adjusts to playing in a faster and more up-tempo game …

Overall: Melo has all of the physical tools you look for in a center, he just needs to work on basic offensive skills and fundamentals … Coach Jim Boeheim recently raved about him, saying he has possible "National Rookie of the Year potential"… I think in his freshman year we’ll see him play a similar role as to what Hasheem Thabeet played a UConn, a defensive, shotblocking presence who once in a while will surprise you on the offensive end… He’s lost 30 pounds over the last year, and will get minutes right away anchoring the center of the Syracuse zone defense …

Jonathan Wasserman 7/29/10

Strengths: Bigman with excellent size, a legit 7-footer with a big wingspan. His standing reach makes dunking effortless for him … Scores a lot on ally oops and garbage baskets … Displays decent upside with his size, strength, mobility and athleticism … Has shot blocking ability with his long arms and leaping abilility and the potential to be a solid inside presence … Appears to have solid hands grabbing rebounds and catching the ball … Shows some touch on his shot, giving his offensive game promise …

Weaknesses: A project. Despite the lack of quality bigs, it’s unlikely that he can be a one and done lottery pick type of college player. Still has an awful lot of things to work on before being a player that can contribute at the NBA level … Questionable conditioning and motor … Does not hustle at all times and appears to be a guy that will need to be motivated by others to fulfill his potential … Not particularly fluid. He moves fairly well, but his foot speed is average and his body type and movements are lumbering … Post skills are very limited. Has no left hand opting to go to his right hand when going left …

Notes: Orginally from Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Aran Smith 7/30/09


YouTube Clip – 3/17/2009