Midnight Madness Strikes Twice in Big East
Georgetown and Louisville score hotly sought-after Top 20 commitments
Oct. 14, 2007
By Van Coleman
The addition of Monroe to Georgetown's class will raise it to challenge for a top five spot nationally, and it's definitely among the top ten classes at this point. But what's key is the Hoyas haven't been in the hunt for arguably the nation's top prospect since John Thompson Jr. was the Hoyas coach and players like Patrick Ewing and Alonzo Mourning committed to Georgetown. No doubt that changed over the weekend with Monroe's decision, now the big question is will his commitment have the same impact for JT III's Hoyas that Ewing and Mourning had for his father's.
That really may depend on how long he is a Hoya, as both Mourning and Ewing were four year players. It's something we don't expect Monroe to be, more likely it being one or two years at the most. But, the Hoyas do have a similar timeline leading to Monroe that they had leading to Ewing. Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert have helped built the program like Sleepy Floyd and Craig Shelton did in 1978-80. The current Hoyas certainly don't have an empty cupboard talent-wise as current freshmen 6-foot-4 Austin Freeman and 6-foot-1 Chris Wright come as Top 25 recruits. Couple that with Top 75s Henry Sims and Chris Braswell, who will enter with Monroe, and the Hoyas have all the pieces to once again be a long-term force in the Big East, as well as the NCAA's.
Monroe's commitment came sooner than some close to his situation expected. "It was a little bit of a surprise he decided this early," his summer coach Mike Theus told CSTV. "I really thought he would take three visits, maybe more before deciding. But, Greg always said that if he found the right fit he would end his recruiting. He evidently felt that was what he found in Georgetown." His high school coach Tyron Mouzon had a similar take on his decision recently when he talked to us about Monroe's recruiting. "He wants to take all five visits, but he also said that once he felt good about a place, once he felt comfortable, he would make a decision," Mouzon had said. Evidently he had just that feeling about John Thompson III and his Georgetown staff and players while attending Midnight Madness. "He sees the opportunity to fit in the mold of Jeff Green in the Georgetown offense," Theus explained. "That plus his developing respect for Coach Thompson could have been keys to his decision."
All-in All, Greg Monroe will make an immediate impact with the Hoyas once he arrives on campus next fall. He has tools to make a Kevin Durant-type contribution as a freshman, especially if he develops a consistent effort on both ends of the court. If my sources are right, the Hoyas may have a couple more commitments in the near future from among the close to 20 prospects who visited for Midnight Madness. Stay tuned for more on that.