Syracuse assistant basketball coach Gerry McNamara joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning to talk about former Orange players Fab Melo and Kris Joseph, both of whom selected by the Celtics  in last week’s NBA draft. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page .
Melo, the 7-foot-0 center who the Celtics took with the No. 22 overall pick, is just scratching the surface of his potential, according to McNamara, who saw signs of his development during his two years at Syracuse.
“He’s very early, really, really early in his career and really I think just started to play the game within the last four or five years,’ McNamara said. ‘[It’s] kind of scary potentially to think what Fab can do really with what he did in one year of development with us.’
McNamara believes the presence of veterans on the Celtics, especially Kevin Garnett , will aid in Melo’s development and maturity.
‘He’s going to be playing with some of the best that have ever played, especially when you talk about Kevin Garnett and what he’s been able to do in the game and from his position and his intensity,’ McNamara said. ‘So I think from a development process, that’s probably one of the best guys he can be around. I think that’s the biggest thing is, just the intelligence level. The intelligence level of the Boston team is such a high IQ team. It might take Fab a minute to really adjust to that, but if you’re going to be around that, you want to be around the best and he certainly is.
‘I think that’s really the stage of where he needs to develop. He’s going to develop. He’s going to develop offensively, I think defensively he’s already ahead of the curve, but as far as the IQ stuff, the X’s and O’s things, I think he’s around great people that will help him ease into that process.’
McNamara also shed some light on Joseph, who the Celtics picked No. 51 overall in the second round. The 6-foot-7 forward may translate better at the NBA level than the college level, where he led Syracuse in scoring last season, McNamara said.
‘When you talk about guys that move from a college level to the next level and the pro level, and you talk about certain guys translating better at the next level, I think Kris might be one of those guys,’ McNamara said. ‘Kris goes by people. He’s 6-7, has the ability to break people down. I think the biggest thing in college was when he went by people there was a lot of congestion. Now at the next level, it’s a little bit more spaced out and now he has the ability to break people down and finish at the rim off of one foot, attack in full speed.
‘He’s gotten better if you look at his statistics of shooting the basketball over his career here at Syracuse, so Kris is a big-time talent. Probably one of the most talented guys I’ve been around. Certainly I had a guard in Dion Waiters  that was fairly talented this year, but Jo-Jo is right up there.’