One ACC team received good news with respect to the NBA Draft, while another ACC team received bad news. The good news is that North Carolina’s James Michael McAdoo will be returning for his sophomore season. The bad news is that Syracuse’s Fab Melo has declared his eligibility for the NBA Draft. While both moves were expected, that does not lessen the impact.
For North Carolina, it is already looking at a season without Josh Henson, Harrison Barnes, Kendall Marshall, and ACC Player of the Year Tyler Zeller. And there was talk that McAdoo would be a lottery pick. That is somewhat surprising given that he averaged about 15 minutes a game, and only six points per game. But the NBA is all about potential and McAdoo’s potential is clear. Also, he played very well down the stretch. This is a win-win, as North Carolina gets one more experienced player and McAdoo gets a chance to develop his game.
In Syracuse, the expectation that Fab Melo was finished does not lessen the impact. Melo was the Big East Defensive Player of the Year. However, he had eligibility troubles all year–making it unlikely that he would return to work on his improving, but subpar, offensive game. Syracuse does have a few returning big men, plus incoming McDonald’s All-American DaJuan Coleman. So all is not lost for the Orange. Still, they would have preferred one more year of Melo.