The No. 1-ranked Syracuse Orange will be without sophomore center Fab Melo for the next two games, as the university released a statement Saturday afternoon saying he's not traveling with the team on its current two-game road trip -- tonight at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6 p.m. on ESPNU) and Monday's contest at the Cincinnati Bearcats. According to ESPN's Andy Katz, Melo is being held out because of "an unresolved academic issue from the first semester."
This season, Melo has been one of the big reasons why SU is a perfect 20-0 and is No. 1 in the college basketball rankings. The sophomore tallied 10 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks in the Orange's Monday night victory over the Pittsburgh Panthers, 71-63. Currently, Melo ranks second in the Big East Conference in blocks per game (3.0) and leads the team in rebounding (5.7 per game).
In his absence, sophomore center Baye Moussa Keita will more than likely start in his place, while freshman forward Rakeem Christmas, who starts but usually sees minimal playing time, will get more action on the floor.
The loss of Jones is very minimal for the Orange, as the forward plays only during garbage time.
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