Fab Melo expected to remain out

Seven-foot Syracuse sophomore Fab Melo, who has missed the past two games due to what a source has said is an academic issue, is not expected to play Saturday when the Orange host West Virginia.

According to a Syracuse spokesman, coach Jim Boeheim said Thursday night that Melo's situation is taking longer to resolve than anticipated.

The academic issue occurred in the first semester, a source has told ESPN.com's Andy Katz. The university has not provided further details, citing school policy and federal student privacy laws.

Melo is allowed to practice with the Orange (No. 4 ESPN/USA Today, No. 3 AP); he is averaging 7.2 points and 5.7 rebounds in 22.6 minutes per game.

He sat out games against Notre Dame -- which on Saturday handed Syracuse (21-1) its only loss -- and Cincinnati. The Orange lead the Big East with an 8-1 record.

According to the school spokesman, the Orange have sold 27,500 tickets for Saturday's game. It would be the largest crowd for a Division I game this season, the official said. The Carrier Dome seats 34,616.

Syracuse's next game after Saturday is Feb. 4 at St. John's.

Senior writer Andy Katz covers men's college basketball for ESPN.com.