Fab Melo’s college team might have been upset by unranked Temple Saturday, but he had himself a game in the NBA D-League when he tallied 15 points, 16 rebounds, and an astounding 14 blocks in a loss to the Erie BayHawks. The blocks total set a league record.
Melo decided to forgo his final two years of school and was drafted 22nd overall by the Boston Celtics in the 2012 draft. He was then sent down to the D-League, which has become more often utilized by NBA clubs in recent years. As you can see in highlights located here, it looks like Melo is beginning to develop more of an offensive game around the basket, with a solid assortment of post moves.
No. 3 Syracuse could have used Melo’s services on Saturday when they lost to a physical and scrappy Temple team at Madison Square Garden. Temple forward Anthony Lee had six offensive rebounds and an inside presence like Melo’s could have helped the cause.
Melo returns to the floor in the D-League on Wednesday against the Idaho Stampede, while Syracuse waits for Alcorn State on Dec. 29.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.