Feb Melo, the sophomore center for the No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange, will return to the lineup Saturday, as the Orange visit the St. John's Red Storm in a Big East Conference men's basketball game at Madison Square Garden (noon on ESPN).
The Orange (22-1, 9-1 Big East) have been without the Big East's leading shot blocker (3.0 per game) and their top rebouder (5.7 per game) for the last three games, because of an academic issue that stemmed from the first semester, and now every Syracuse basketball fan is thrilled for his return.
However, the water-cooler conversation has switched from "will Melo ever be back?" to "will Melo start Saturday?".
"We’ll see how things go,’’ Boeheim told the The Post-Standard's Mike Waters Thursday when asked if the 7-footer will be in the starting five. "We’ll see how things go the next couple of days. I probably won’t decide for sure until Saturday. We’ll see.’’
Now, I am not bashing Waters for asking the question -- because I am pretty sure he doesn't care (he's just a good reporter that needs to ask the question) -- but I am astonished about how many Orange fans care about this topic. Haven't you learned anything about Boeheim of the past, oh, 36 seasons?
First, starting lineups mean nothing to him, as proof by Melo starting over half the games last season and freshman forward Rakeem Christmas starting this season; and second: you really think Melo will not start after practicing with the Orange for the past two weeks?
Somebody did Tweet at me earlier this week, stating that Boeheim would sit Melo to make a point -- basically saying, "don't let this happen again". However, do you really think Melo cares? Because he's going to play regardless and what would that really prove anyway?
My advise to Syracuse fans is stop looking for something to nitpick because this seems to be the case with a lot of you during the course of this great season. Enjoy the ride, and enjoy Melo back in the lineup regardless of where or when plays.
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