Fab Melo finished with eight points and three rebounds in Syracuse’s 85-67 win on Saturday over Connecticut. Normally, you’d expect Melo’s points to come on a variety of putbacks and dunks.
But on Saturday, Melo revealed another dimension to his game—the jumper.
Melo came out and drained his first three jumpers from midrange, drawing a surprised cheer from the crowd. His teammates, on the other hand, were not surprised at all.
“I see it everyday in practice, it’s nothing new to me,” guard Dion Waiters said. “He has a great touch for someone who’s 7-feet.”
His touch has been so good that Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim has allowed Melo to show his talents in actual games.
“He’s a decent shooter,” Boeheim said. “He really is. I don’t mind him shooting a shot or two.”
Still, the coach has put limits to how much Melo can test his range.
“He just doesn’t want me to shoot in clutch time at the end of the game,” Melo said. “I respect that.”
Waiters added that Melo’s range extends beyond what he showed on Saturday. In practice, Melo has been accurate from 3-point range.
Will we see it soon in a game?
“I’ll leave that for later in the season,” Melo said, with a smile on his face. “I’ll prepare you for that.”
Still, after Melo’s third make, Boeheim told Melo to stick to the painted area.
“It’s like in Vegas and you’ve hit a couple rolls and you’ve got the money in front of you,” Boeheim said. “You’re usually better taking the money and going home.”