Orange minus key player vs. Notre Dame

Orange minus key player vs. Notre Dame

Published Jan. 21, 2012 12:00 a.m. ET

Center Fab Melo did not travel with top-ranked Syracuse for the Orange's basketball game Saturday at Notre Dame, the school announced.

Citing university policy and federal student privacy laws, the school's announcement said the athletic department could not provide further details. However, the game in South Bend, Ind., will be the Orange's first of the spring semester, possibly indicating an issue related to fall grades.

Syracuse athletics spokesman Pete Moore said Melo could return to action this season, The Post-Standard reported.

Melo had started all 20 games for unbeaten Syracuse, averaging 7.2 points on 56.3 percent shooting. The 7-foot sophomore is also averaging 5.7 rebounds and three blocked shots in about 22 minutes per game.


Syracuse's trip continues Monday at Cincinnati.

Melo's absence leaves the Orange with one center, Baye Keita. Coach Jim Boeheim has used freshman forward Rakeem Christmas to fill in at center at times this season.

Syracuse also announced that little-used junior guard Mookie Jones has left the team for personal reasons.