Basketball recruit Monroe stays humble amid praise
"For whatever reason, we didn't have a lot of upperclassmen there, and Greg was there with JV kids," Helen Cox coach Tyron Mouzon says. "I don't know how many No. 1 players in the country would do that. He's the ultimate team person. He never feels he is too big for anyone or anything. "That unselfish attitude extends to the court, where the 6-10 Monroe is a gifted player who can play multiple positions, as willing to pass the ball as he is to work for an offensive rebound. Next season he will take his skills to Georgetown. He signed his national letter of intent Friday, his mom's birthday. "I got the feeling that (coach John Thompson III) wasn't trying to sell me anything," Monroe says. "Everything was straightforward. The way he talked to me was the same way he talked to his players." Monroe averaged 19.3 points, 12.2 rebounds and three blocks a game during his junior season. In his first game this season, Monroe faced double- and triple-teams and scored seven points. But he collected 15 rebounds and blocked four shots in that 53-44 win against O.P. Walker (New Orleans) High. Monroe picked up his scoring in Cox's second game, finishing with 20 points in a 52-41 victory Saturday against Holy Cross (New Orleans) High.
Thompson, who was the last major coach to start recruiting Monroe but connected immediately with him, understands what he's getting. "He's an important piece to what we're doing here," Thompson says. "He's a very unselfish player with the ability to help himself and his teammates." The left-hander can rebound, block shots and run the court, thrives on accumulating assists and possesses a soft mid-range jumper. It's not unusual for Monroe to grab a rebound and dribble down the court, leading the fast break. "Greg is one of those guys who is blessed with a tremendous amount of physical attributes," scout.com recruiting analyst Dave Telep says. "At his size, you want to cast him as (an inside) presence. "What Greg is is a versatile, new-era big man. The next step, because he's so talented, you want him to be dominant all the time. He's growing into that role." Monroe is the top recruit for a Georgetown class that is ranked in the top five by rivals.com and scout.com after the early signing period. It is another step in Thompson's plans to make the Hoyas annual contenders. Center Henry Sims, forward Chris Braswell and guard Jason Clark, all in scout.com's top 100, also signed with Georgetown. "Last year, Georgetown retooled the backcourt," Telep says. "For 2008, they overhauled the frontcourt with the No. 1 player and two guys who will grow together. This package plays off the 2007 class extremely well. "Georgetown is losing guys to the NBA and not dropping off."