The Syracuse Orange have made it to the Elite Eight without star center Fab Melo, who, a few weeks ago, became ineligible for the NCAA Tournament due to academic reasons. Without the seven-footer in the paint, the Orange have relied on clutch performances from Scoop Jardine, Kris Joseph and Dion Waiters.

Tonight, though, the Orange take on an Ohio State team with, perhaps, one of the most formidable big men in the country in Jared Sullinger. Luckily, Boeheim remembered a key bench player in the nick of time.

“To be honest, I was struggling to figure out how to plan a defense that can stop [Sullinger] and Deshaun Thomas under the hoop,” said Boeheim. “Then, out of the blue, I remembered that we have this amazing center who, for some reason or other, I’ve left on the bench the entire season. He’s pheneomenal!”

According to scouts, Frab Melone, a 7-foot sophomore from Peru, shoots like Melo, blocks like Melo, rebounds like Melo, even looks like Melo. “I assure you, though,” claims Boeheim, “he is not Melo.”

NCAA officials are skeptical about the sudden emergence of Melone, but Boeheim assures them that he is “legit.”

“I checked into his transcript with the Registrar’s office,” said Boeheim. “He’s got like a 4.0 and he actually attends extra classes just for fun, ones that he isn’t even enrolled in! So, you know, no need to look into anything, he’s definitely who he says he is and he’ll probably be valedictorian or something.”

Added Boeheim, “Now, if you’ll excuse me, we’ve got a national championship to win.”



Photo courtesy Briles Takes Pictures… on Flickr