Melo’s return makes ‘Cuse an intimidating team once again

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This was the news Syracuse wanted to hear: Fab Melo’s playing.

According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, the 7-foot swat machine will be on the court Saturday when the Orange face St. John’s. The sophomore had sat out the last three games – including Syracuse’s lone loss — because of an academic issue.

His return is, to say the least, huge.

Melo is the Orange’s best rebounder and the foundation of its 2-3 zone defense. Only Kentucky’s Anthony Davis is a more intimidating shot-blocking presence, though it should be noted that Melo blocks shots at a higher rate. With him guarding the hoop, Syracuse’s guards can be aggressive in the passing lanes and on the perimeter.

It’ll be interesting to see if Melo displays any rust or if the Orange need a game or two to adjust to his return.

But this isn’t about the next few games. Melo’s return is much more important when March rolls around.

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