Pacers 26th Pick Tournament Round One: Fab Melo vs. Festus Ezeli

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 26: Fab Melo #51 of the Syracuse Orange takes a shot over Julian Vaughn #22 of the Georgetown Hoyas during a college basketball game on February 26, 2011 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC The Orange 58-51. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

It's time for the second matchup in the first round for the Pacers 26th pick tournament. Our next matchup is two seven footers going up against each other Fab Melo vs. Festus Ezeli. Check out after the jump the analysis of both prospects.

Who do you want to advance on to the second round?

We have another battle of potential versus polished here. Ever since Jeff has retired, we haven't had a true back-up center. Let's face it, Lou is better off as a power forward instead. These two prospects can surely provide the size we need in the second unit.

Here's the tale of the tape for Melo vs. Ezeli:

Fab Melo: He's a true force down low, but he has no offensive game at all. He can be a menace by blocking shots as he had four per game. Fab also shows his true potential with his size. It's prototypical for a true big man in today's game. Melo showed his defensive potential at Syracuse, but after that he needs to be developed more in the NBA.

Melo will need to improve on his offensive game and his foul trouble to reach his peak in the NBA. He's a disappointment with his rebounding ability for his size. He needs to be more aggressive against opponents and bang them down in the post. Fab only has an average motor.

If Melo can put his whole game together, he could be a great back-up to Roy for the next five plus years. He will surely be a project, but he could be well worth the risk.

Here are Fab's stats from Syracuse below:

SEASON GM MIN FGM-FGA FG% 3P% FTM-FTA FT% REB AST BLK STL
TO PTS
2011-12 SYR 30 3.3-5.8 .566 .000 1.3-2.0 .633 5.8 0.7 2.9 0.5 1.4 7.8
2010-11 SYR 33 1.0-1.7 .607 .000 0.3-0.8 .360 1.9 0.2 0.8 0.3 0.8 2.3

TS% Pt./40 Reb./40 Reb.Rate Ast./40 Ast.% Blk/40 Stl/40 TO% PF/40 PER WinShares
10-11 0.57 9.40 7.80 11.10 1.00 8.00 3.10 1.20 25.00 7.30 12.00 1.30
11-12 0.58 12.30 9.20 13.00 1.10 8.00 4.60 0.80 16.30 4.50 20.70 4.70
Stats via ESPN.com, SportsReference.com & DraftExpress.com

Also, here are two videos from Swish Scout on his defense (positive) and his rebounding (needs improvement):

Melo could really fit with the Pacers. His seven foot frame would be great for the second unit to have. Roy could help develop Fab more and make him have more drive to succeed. If Indiana takes this flyer in the draft, it could be worth it for the Pacers.

Now, we get to Festus Ezeli. He is the more polished prospect as he just graduated from Vanderbilt and has steadily improved every year for the Commodores.

He stands just under seven foot (6-11), but he is very versatile and quick for his size. He is also more of a defensive center and not a scorer. Ezeli averaged three blocks per game last season at Vanderbilt.

Ezeli is very aggressive down low fighting for position and he is a wizard at getting offensive rebounds. He's one of the best rebounders in the whole draft class.

Festus needs to improve on his post-up game and guarding the pick-and-roll. If he could improve those two things, he could be a steal in the draft.

Here are Ezeli's stats from his career at Vanderbilt:

SEASON GM MIN FGM-FGA FG%
3P% FTM-FTA FT% REB AST BLK STL
TO PTS
2011-12 26 23.2 3.4-6.3 .539 .000 3.2-5.3 .604 5.9 0.3 2.0 0.4 2.2 10.1
2010-11 34 23.5 4.4-7.6 .588 .000 4.1-6.4 .648 6.3 0.2 2.6 0.6 1.8 13.0
2009-10 32 12.7 1.5-2.8 .544 .000 0.7-1.8 .373 3.2 0.1 1.3 0.2 1.1 3.8
2008-09 29 12.4 1.4-2.6 .547 .000 1.0-1.9 .509 2.6 0.0 0.8 0.1 1.5 3.8
TS% Pt./40 Reb./40 Reb.Rate Ast./40 Ast.% Blk/40 Stl/40 TO% PF/40 PER WinShares
09-10 0.51 11.80 10.00 14.00 0.30 2.00 4.20 0.60 22.20 6.90 13.00 1.40
10-11 0.62 22.10 10.70 15.10 0.30 1.40 4.40 1.00 14.40 5.20 29.30 5.50
11-12 0.57 17.40 10.20 15.30 0.50 2.70 3.40 0.70 19.90 5.40 21.00 3.10
Stats via ESPN.com, SportsReference.com & DraftExpress.com

He could fit with the Pacers due to his height and his glass cleaning potential in the second unit. Ezeli playing next to Lou would be very fun to watch. He might be a perfect fit behind Roy for us.

Festus has an advantage due to his experience over Melo, but you never know who will reach their full potential. These two will likely be the best two centers near are pick on draft night.

Now, here are a few videos on Festus Ezeli's defense (strength) and his offense (needs improvement):

Ezeli could be a steal if he reaches his peak. He could be a nice back-up big man to Roy. Now after the full analysis, who will you want to advance on to the second round.

Will it be Fab Melo or Festus Ezeli advancing on?

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