By Michael McAllister
After Syracuse finished holding off West Virginia Saturday afternoon, Orange fans attention turned to the playing status of their Brazilian big man. Fab has missed the last three games with academic issues, and news has been nearly impossible to come by.
Message board and twitter rumors have run rampant. Some claimed to know a professor or Fab's tutor and claimed he was definitely done for the year. Others claimed he was already kicked of campus. There was even a rumor that someone had seen Fab board a plane to Brazil. None of those are true, but it's funny how the lack of information can lead to such paranoia.
Further fueling the fire were the tweets by Fab Melo himself. His twitter account has been pretty dormant since news of his issues came forth. His first tweet a few days ago said, "who doesn't like a *movie with a happy ending?" Now it's entirely plausible he was speaking literally about a happy ending to a movie he just watched. But a lot of people read into this and suggested it meant his return was imminent.
His next tweet was even worse for speculation. It read, "One more battle till family reunion." That tweet was made prior to the game against West Virginia. Many took this to mean that after that game, he'd reunite with his family on the court in their next game. That game would be against St. John's on Saturday.
That timeline makes sense. Jim Boeheim even said after the West Virginia game that he's hopeful they will have an answer this week. If they get an answer and it's positive, Fab would theoretically be back for the St. John's game.
ESPN's Ryan Burr put out on twitter that, "if I'm reading the tea leaves he's back Saturday." He went on to say, "if he was done I think the announcement would have already come. Silence speaks volume."
The voice of the Orange, Matt Park, said to a fan on twitter who asked when Fab would be back, "my feeling is that you'll be pleased."
I've maintained all along that I thought he would be back by the Georgetown game on February 8th. That's not based on inside information, simply speculation on my part. But I tend to agree with Ryan Burr. If he was done, I think we would have heard by now. Brent Axe echoed similar sentiments on his radio show this week.
Hopefully, Cuse fans get some good news this week. I think they will. Maybe I'm reading too much into the tweets and what others are saying, but I've always felt he will be back. And that's important. Yes this team is good without him. But they're great with him.