Fab Melo Goes With Syracuse

Fab Melo has chosen Syracuse University over the University of Louisville as his choice for college basketball.

Had to be a difficult decision, passing on an opportunity to learn from Rick Pitino, to perform in front of some of the game’s most knowledgeable fans, and to help inaugurate the best college basketball facility in the country when the new 22,000-seat facility opens during the 2010 season.

For Syracuse.

Louisville fans wish him well.

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

34 thoughts on “Fab Melo Goes With Syracuse

  • August 4, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    “passing up an opportunity to be learning from Rick Pitino, to be performing in front of some of the game’s most knowledgeable fans, and helping to inaugurate the finest college basketball facility in the country when the new 22,000-seat facility opens during the 2010 season.”


    What’s with the incredulity? Both programs are elite level programs. Both have elite level coaches. Both are Final Four contenders.

    I gotta tell ya, Louisville fans have a little bit of an inflated opinion of the ‘Ville. These aren’t the ’80s. Louisville is just another good program.

    As is Syracuse.

    • August 4, 2009 at 7:11 pm

      The Syracuse football program is in the dumps right now. They are rebuilding and will get back to where they used to be….which is well ahead of Louisville. Remember, Marvin Harrison, Freeney, McNabb, Ernie Davis, Floyd Little, Larry Czonka, Jim Brown, Art Monk….and on and on and on.

      SInce when did Louisville fans develop such as ego? If life was so great, why accept the invite to the Big East?

      UofL = sub-par academics. Period.

  • August 4, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    For Syracuse? You mean, the 9th best program of the last quarter century?


    FWIW, LVille is ranked 7th overall.

    Why would anyone go to #16 to play for Pitino when he could go to #9 and play for a Hall of Fame, gold medal winner?

  • August 4, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Hey Chuck, Syracuse is 5th all-time in wins. Where does UL rank? Syracuse won a title only 6 years ago. When was the last time UL even went to a title game? Jim Boeheim has 799 career wins and is currently in the HOF. How many does Pitino have? Syracuse’s Carrier Dome holds the largest attendance sever single year. 22k? That’s the turnout for a bad out of conference over the holidays at Syracuse. Oh, and Syracuse puts more kids in the NBA than UL does.

    Easy choice.

  • August 4, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Syracuse could win four or five titles but in the end, it would still just be Syracuse.

  • August 4, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Zagnut wrote: “Syracuse could win four or five titles but in the end, it would still just be Syracuse.”

    That is true, but Louisville will always be Louisville, too.

    Syracuse is about a 4 hour drive from the City that Never Sleeps, the entertainment capital of the world, where most of the school’s graduates find employment.

    Louisville is about a 4 hour drive from Dollywood.

    • August 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm

      Good thing you have something other than Syracuse as an attraction. Lucky you.

  • August 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Lets’ see. I don’t know all that much about Louisville, but here is what I do know about SU.

    1) H of F coach.
    2) Gold medal coach
    3) Repeating Olympic Coach
    4) National champion coach
    5) 3 Final fours as HC, 1 as assistant.
    6) winning coach of the greatest game in the last qtr. century, at least.
    7) Plays in the most famous on campus bball arena. (Kids love to play in front of 30K plus fans.)
    8) International student population.
    9) Multiple top rated colleges and programs.
    10) 6 hours or less from NYC, Boston, Montreal, DC, & Toronto.
    11)We have a building with his name on it.
    12)Its not in Kentucky. : – )

    • August 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm

      The only one that impresses me is No. 12.

    • August 5, 2009 at 8:35 am

      Doesn’t every university has international student populations these days? Nothing unique about Syracuse.

      • August 5, 2009 at 10:16 am

        Actually, ‘Cuse is one of the most diverse universities in the country (Top 5).

          • August 5, 2009 at 1:57 pm

            Terrible question. “Out of choice or necessity?” I’d say, both. In order to receive a well rounded education, a diverse campus is a neccesity. It’s also by choice that the school decided to offer this environment to current and future students. My graduating class represented over 115 countries.

  • August 4, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    hey charlie, just wanted to know what its like being a fan of the little borther of this state? ur faciltiies arent near the top. congrats on finally getting a new arena since freedom hall is a sh*t hole. louisville is just a good program. thats all it ever will be too. haha. get used to it. a man of ur age should have had enough time to realize that the program you support is now where near the elite programs

    • August 4, 2009 at 4:56 pm

      I see you have a UK email, JC. Don’t they use spell check there?

  • August 4, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Hey Charlie, honest question: When you drop a deuce, does your head implode? My God man, you act like Syracuse is borderline Div-I with this type of sour-grape rant. “For Syracuse?” Really? Louisville is a great program, try to act like you’ve been there before. Geez.

      • August 4, 2009 at 5:14 pm

        Understandable. ‘Cuse fans have been in the same spot before. Regardless, the “for Syracuse” comment is really uncalled for. We’re the 5th most winning program of all time with a HOF coach, and our facility isn’t so bad either (you know, the largest on-campus facility in the country). Players don’t care if there are luxury boxes, they care about bodies in seats. I know this is a tough loss for ‘ville fans, but a little respect to the Cuse is in order, I think our program deserves that.
        On a side note, Syracuse was involved in a related situation 8 years ago with Julius Hodge who ended up at NC State. He was the big Top 10 NY kid who basically said he was Cuse all the way until the press conf. When he didn’t commit, a skinny flyer named Hakim Warrick committed. Hak became an all-BE performer and blocked the shot at the end of the 2003 NC game to give us the title. Sometimes things end up working out for the better.

      • August 4, 2009 at 7:30 pm

        With Louisville’s AT BEST mediocre track record of producing NBA players, AND Pitino’s equally mediocre record at doing the same (anywhere), what’s the big attraction to Louisville?

        • August 4, 2009 at 9:41 pm

          Matt, you might want to do a little research on Louisville and Pitino’s history.

  • August 4, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    Losing Melo is disappointing. But, as some of our guests have pointed out in this thread, Syracuse does have a storied history and Boeheim is an excellent coach. A coach that hired Rick Pitino.

    Melo will most likely only stay one year before going for the NBA if he turns out to be everything that the scouts and prognosticators predict. Whether that’ll be enough to get the ‘Cuse to the Big East Championship and
    NCAA title remains to be seen.

    We’ve still got two excellent paint monsters in Samuels and Jennings. Rick will find a few more down the road, for sure.

    Win some, lose some. Hope he turns out to be the player you want him to be. We’ll survive. Got that Big East regular season and tournament title to defend. Three starters back from that team and a deep bench.

    Let me get you some bandages for the wounds you took in action today, Charlie. Orange lobbing can be vicious.

  • August 4, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    lol syracuse and louisville have about the same amount of history. and pitino is a hall of famer b/c of what he did at Kentucky. He won big there and the past 8 years at UofL hes just won. 1 final four with rick pitino is under acheveing.

  • August 4, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    how can you argue that fab is in a better place? everyone in this city worships basketball and he could have been playing in the most state of the art facility in the country! oh well i suppose i hope we land another great big man in 2010! i hope fab gets embarrassed when we play them! fab… u just screwed the pooch! go cards syracuse sux!!!!!!!!!

  • August 4, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    Cheer up Cards fans. The sun will rise tomorrow. Unless of course there is more of this freakin’ rain.

  • August 5, 2009 at 12:33 am

    I am sad about Melo. I felt he was leaning toward the Cards. Does anyone have a creepy feeling the Cards might not make the top four this season?…Considering the changes with the basketball team and a federal investigation with Pitino… I am a little uneasy.
    just my thoughts.

  • August 5, 2009 at 12:35 am

    JC- Syracuse and Lville have the same amount of history? Really? Is that a serious post or were you being sarcastic?

    Funny comment if sarcastic. Frightening if being serious. All I could say in that case is, check your history books.

    FWIW- Im not even a Syracuse fan. Of any team in the entire BE Conference, I think Syracuse would be the one you’d be LEAST likely to speak poorly of. Lousiville seems to be the only team SU can beat in BE football. Actually, make that the entire country. I know this is about bball, but still.

    Also, SU is finishing its basketball-only training facility. Charlie I would also expect you to know that longtime SU assistant Bernie Fine has like a 30 year track record of developing big men. He’s widely known on the national level in that regard. Im sure that was a factor.

  • August 5, 2009 at 6:33 am

    Charlie….ummm, probably not your best commentary.

    Syracuse has some serious BBall history…not quite up to ours , but right there

    • August 5, 2009 at 8:32 am

      Well aware of Syracuse history but, like I say, disappointing. Quite a strong reaction to two words (“For Syracuse.”). But that’s what you get here, the observer’s opinion, and it may have been more of a result of the negativity of many Syracuse fans in reacting to Louisville’s entry into the Big East a years ago than Syracuse getting a prized recruit.

      • August 5, 2009 at 9:05 am


        Really now. You have to be kidding. You seem surprised that you have gotten the reaction that you got. As someone who obviously considers himself a journalist you should understand the power of two well(or perhaps not) chosen words. In the context of your statement the only way to take those “two words” is as a disparaging comment towards Syracuse. Anyone who reads your post impartially would come to that conclusion. Please do not insult your readers as well as Syracuse University by playing coy. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Try to realize this (college sports recruiting) is not life itself. You win some, you lose some. Pitino is a very good recruiter and Louisville is not heading into the dumper anytime soon. As for your baseless comment about “many Syracuse fans” reacting negatively to U of L’s entry into the Big East being the cause for the reaction to your post, that is simply overblown. Most Syracuse fans were pleased that Louisville joined. More, and better, competition is great for everyone. Please do not drag down the reputation of the great city of Louisville and the proud tradition of their BB program with such nonsensical drivel. Write to your level of ability and stop playing silly games. Best to you, and good luck to Louisville this year (except when they play Syracuse, of course)

        • August 5, 2009 at 10:58 am

          Actually pleased with the reaction, consider the comments a counter punch to the body blow we took in losing the recruiting battle. Sour grapes? Yeah, but it feels good to punch back.

  • August 5, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Charlie- I like your style. You are a fighter! – Way to repond with the comments! Good Work!

  • August 5, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    Gee, go figure. A 7 foot guy that wants to play in a zone defense. Remember, it’s a verbal and nothing is signed yet. Anyone remember Amir Johnson or Sebastian Telfair?

  • August 10, 2009 at 8:03 am

    The rise of international recruits is also influencing the Big East as Syracuse recently inked a Brazilian standout with a familiar last name: precioustimeny.com/blog/?p=3385#more-3385

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