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Fab’s Coach Speaks to the Fizz

After a whirlwind day, which began with a call to Jim Boeheim this afternoon, we grabbed Ross for a few questions on Fab’s decision.

Orange Nation rejoices the signing of Brazilian big’un Fab Melo, Adam Ross spoke to The Fizz tonight.

After a whirlwind day, which began with a call to Jim Boeheim at approximately 3:00p this afternoon, we grabbed Ross for a few questions on Fab’s decision.

Fab grew up as a city-kid in Brazil, so the urban-like feel of Syracuse plus the proximity to New York was something that appealed to him (yeah, good luck feeling that vibe in Storrs).

The quote that might have sealed it for Fab? Walking out of the Dome on graduation, he looked up and said, “I have to play here.”

Nice to know that it’s not in an opposing uniform.

We featured Ross in an exclusive FizzCast last month. as he detailed that Fab had it down to a Final Four schools.

Ross told us the key was the coaching staff and proximity to New York City (maybe Dr. Doom’s p.r. machine is working).

Fab made the call to the 315 earlier today and “Coach was obviously really excited,” said Ross.

He has since spent the afternoon “making the other really tough phone calls.”

Would there be a press conference? “No, Fab’s not a press conference kind-of-guy. He’s really happy with his decision.”

Fab felt most comfortable with the SU coaching staff and really respected Jim Boeheim being a Hall of Famer. Plus, while it’s not the Big Apple, Ross said it was exciting that New York was just a few hours away.

Ross will join the Fizz tonight around 7:30p for another exclusive look at Fab’s decision. That FizzCast will be posted by 8p.

Fab finally finished up his AAU summer circuit at the end of July and flew back to Brazil to spend time with family and mull his decision.

Rumors circulated last week it was down to two: SU and Louisville.

Props to Matt Mc who had his hands on the story. The Fizz’s calls to Ross had not been returned over the past few days. The Sagemont (FL) coaching staff and Ross particularly has always been very good at communication. With that it felt like the pot may be coming to a boil and the Fab Camp was laying low until the decision had been made official.

* * *

Ted Conroy reporting: Big East Media Day has been coloredOrange Fizz.

Follow the Fizz’s Twitter-feedfor constant updates from Day 2 of Media Days.

Bad news out of the way first. The LeBron-ified Ryan Miller was credentialed late (Nike is still tailing him) and couldn’t make the trip. I made the drive solo.

Greg Schiano beat me on the golf course after we shot a handicap-adjusted 63. Hopefully, WAER’s Alex Perlman will hit a drive more than 6-feet in the air in the rematch next season.

USF’s Jim Leavitt apparently won the tournament overall (several sources tell The Fizz Leavitt was shaving like Michael Phelps during the Olympics. So that’s how the guy ran a D-1 program out of a trailer for five years).

But the interesting part of the day was the roster shakeup.

News10Now reporter Aaron Goldstein was originally in a group with UConn broadcasters, I was slated to play with 10’s sports director Mark Larson and SU athletic communications director Pete Moore. Meantime Perlman had a guy from the UConn team in his foursome.

In a dramatic trade-deadline three-team deal, I got shipped to Perlman’s group. Goldstein and a sleeve of golf balls were sent to the Larson-Moore team and the UConn broadcaster went with his cronies. Or maybe they were colleagues. Whatever.

The move ended up being a straight salary dump for the Larson-Moore grouping, because they shot an 80. In a scramble tournament, that is, well… bad. As for me, I lived up to most expectations, hitting my fair share of drives (including a 300-yard bomb up a hill on a par-4) and ended with a natural birdie to my name. We’ll just forget that all the Schiano garbage ever happened.

The long-drive winner, though? You wouldn’t believe it went to SU grad and WAER alum Sean McDonough, creaming a 290-yard bomb on the number-one handicap hole on the course. Lucky guy said at the Clam Bake he’s in the best shape of his life.

Ah, yes. The Clam Bake! Only in the Big East would we play golf and eat shellfish before we actually talked football. Here’s guessing JoePa is not hosting a Bridge tournament, serving corned beef on rye before Big 10 Media Day.

But if you ever have a chance to go to Big East Media Day, just do it. Lobster, clams, mussels and some kind of spicy sausage that I can’t spell were all on the menu.

All the Big East bigs were there and a couple of people I didn’t expect to see either. Bob Ryan was there and so was ESPN’s lacrosse reporter Quint Kessenich.
Another big man Orange Nation should have its eye on is Chris Coleman who’s only 16-years-old, playing at Mount Zion (NC). He’s the No. 5 center (ESPN) and No. 15 junior in the nation (hoopscoop.com) and has an offer from SU, but committed to Sun Belt disaster FIU in July, merely because of Isiah Thomas.

But of course, verbals are non-binding and Coleman has two years before he can sign. The 6-11, 250-pounder, attended the FIU basketball camp in June and liked the way Thomas coached him.

“Coach Thomas gave me little tips about what I should do down low. I tried it out and it worked. So I thought, if I can get a few more tips from him, it might be better.

Oh boy. Coleman is looking for big man tutelage from a 50-year-old, 5’9″ point guard? Speechless. Coleman also has offers from the ‘Cuse, UConn and Texas.

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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