Fab Melo’s defensive rebounding rate: Cause for concern?
Through 6 games, much hyped freshman center Fab Melo of Syracuse has a horrendous rebounding rate of 8.2%. For context, this means Melo grabs only 8.2% of defensive rebound opportunities while he is on the court. A center such as himself should have a rate of around 20% to be considered an adequate to good rebounder.
In re-watching the William & Mary game, I wanted to try to figure out why his numbers are so low and whether we should be concerned about this poor start. Let’s take a look at what I saw.
From my point of view, it looks like Melo knows how to rebound but he does not seem to have the athleticism to rebound. Take a look at this first play. He sees the offensive player and tries to get a body on him for the box out.
However, Melo is unable to complete the box out and the Tribe player is in position to grab the offensive rebound. Melo makes no effort to grab the loose ball but watches while the W&M player fights Kris Joseph for the ball. While Joseph secures the rebound, I feel as if Melo should have been able to get his hands on this ball.
In my opinion, this is troubling. Melo looked a step slow as the W&M player beat his box out and was then unable to elevate to grab the rebound. At 7 feet, Melo should be able to control the defensive glass against the level of competition he has faced so far. We have not seen that yet.
Here is one more example of what I perceive of a lack of athleticism. A shot goes up in a crowd and Rick Jackson comes down with the rebound. While this does not hurt SU since they do not give up the offensive rebound, watch Melo and his lift off the ground. It is very poor and even though Melo is in perfect position to get the rebound, Jackson comes down with it.
I was somewhat concerned seeing the raw stat of defensive rebounding percentage of 8.2% but after watching the film, I am a bit more worried. Melo is in the right place the most of the time but his lack of athleticism keeps him pinned to the floor and easily out-jumped. While it did not hurt Syracuse in these two clips, I have a feeling it will come back to bite them come Big East play.