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Analysis of Syracuse’s Christmas & Carter-Williams in McDonald’s Game

Last night two of Syracuse’s Three Amigos – Rakeem Christmas and Michael Carter-Williams – took part in the 2011 McDonald’s All-American Game. While neither had a rim-rocking flush or a boatload of points, both showed flashes of talent that should make the Orange the deepest team in the Big East next season. Team Fizz (Craig Hoffman, Andrew Kanell, Ted Conroy, Dave Van Moeffart, D.A.) engaged in a live Twitter chat all night long dissecting the game and thanks to our readers who participated.

We even elicited this response from the Marquette blog @mu_bball “Pretty sure @orangefizz set a record for tweets per minute this evening. We’ll have to teach those guys how to use a live blog.” Nah, we’re just fine flooding 300 tweets about SU hoops to your rival Twitter feed. But thanks for thinking of us. Check out our analysis from last night’s game on the next generation of Orange.

Flash back to about one year ago for a moment. Orange fans tuned in excitedly to the 2010 McDonald’s All-American game, many getting their first peaks at prized Syracuse recruit Fab Melo.

And they liked what they saw. Despite having played ball in the states for only one year, Melo looked ready to make significant contributions for Jim Boeheim in 2010-2011. He only scored two points, but tallied seven boards, four assists, and three blocks in 19 minutes. The Fizz documented Fab’s night by raving, ” A.O. gone – so what? Just kidding, but this guy looks like he is going to be legit. Height? Check. Moves? Check. Named after NCAA champ? Check.”

The scouts were embarrassingly infatuated.

NBADraft.net: “Fab Melo will be perfect for the middle of the Syracuse zone and could lead the Big East in blocked shots.”

ESPN: “He is ready to be an impact college center, and that fact has a lot to do with his commitment to conditioning.”

Looking back at it now, The Worldwide Leader In Sports’ take on the 7-footer from Brazil is LOL-worthy. To clarify how Fab actually turned out:

He is NOT ready to be an impact college center, and that fact has a lot to do with his commitment to LACK OF conditioning.

Melo grabbed seven boards in a contest only once his entire freshman season. Compared to his McDonald’s box score, Fab surpassed three blocks only twice all year, and never managed even three assists in a game. The two points he dropped in last March sounds about right, though.

The lesson here? The Mickey D’s game, which contains about as much defense as any All-Star game does (none), means absolutely nothing in the long term, provided no one tears his MCL or anything like that.

Orange Nation may now have a better understanding that Michael Carter-Williams and Rakeem Christmas’ performance in last night’s McDonald’s All-American Game was nothing more than a show.

Two-thirds of Murphkins’ latest heist didn’t exactly light the world on fire last night, combining for four points. But we’ll shrug that off. MCW at least looked solid on defense, drawing the rare All-Star game charge and doing a nice job of contesting shots. Rakeem’s one bucket was a smooth-looking midrange jumper, and he showed signs that he can be a force with his shot-blocking ability

Carter-Williams and Christmas showed the fans nothing awe-inspiring, but Fab taught us that All-Star game performances don’t always mean what they appear. Let’s hope that holds true for SU’s latest batch of incoming freshmen.

Posted: Andrew Kanell

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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