|Gerry McNamara on D&C: Fab Melo’s potential is ‘scary’||07.03.12 at 10:45 am ET|
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.’
|NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Syracuse C Fab Melo||06.12.12 at 9:42 am ET|
As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.
Height: 7 feet
Weight: 255 pounds
Achievements: Big East Defensive Player of the Year (2012), Preseason Big East Rookie of the Year (2010-11), McDonald’s High School All-American (2010)
Key 2011-12 stats: 7.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.9 blocks
What he brings: Melo’s most impressive traits are his size, rebounding and shot-blocking ability. He displays decent mobility and jumping ability but lacks the elite athleticism of fellow center prospects Meyers Leonard and Andre Drummond.
Offensively, Melo is extremely raw and is still learning the game. He does not project to be a superstar at the next level, but given the dearth of big men who can run the floor, he is an intriguing option.
Where the Celtics could get him: Projections have Melo going somewhere in the 15-25 range, which is right where the Celtics reside with two picks.
Notes: Melo made enormous strides in his second season at Syracuse before being held out of three games in January due to an unspecified academic issue and then being ruled ineligible for the NCAA tournament. He also had a domestic violence issue in 2011. After breaking the turn signal on his girlfriend’s car, he was charged with criminal mischief. If he remains out of trouble through November, he’ll have a clean record. Melo, who grew up in Brazil, did not start playing competitive basketball until the ninth grade. He attended high school in Florida (near Miami) his junior and senior years.
Video: Here’s a Melo highlight mix.