By Jeff Goodman
Syracuse is getting its big man back.
The Post-Standard reported that sophomore Fab Melo, a key reason why the Orange spent numerous weeks at No. 1 in the country and are considered a championship contender, will play Saturday at St. John's.
The 7-footer has missed the past three games due to academic issues.
Syracuse was 1-2 in that stretch -- including its first loss of the season at Notre Dame.
Melo is averaging 7.2 points and 5.7 rebounds per game and leads the team in blocks with 60. He was a disappointment last season, but shed weight in the offseason and has been a factor on both ends of the court this year.
Without him in the lineup, freshman Rakeem Christmas has slid over and started in the middle and C.J. Fair has moved into the starting lineup.
Syracuse is 22-1 overall and in first place in the Big East with a 9-1 mark.