2010 Draft Preview – Know Your Prospects: Greg Monroe
With the June 24 draft fast approaching, we’ll run a few posts previewing the top prospects in the draft using excerpts from the top scouting sources and quotes from NBA coaching staff running predraft workouts.
Greg Monroe (Sophomore) – 20 yrs.
Power Forward/Center, Georgetown University
16.1 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.5 blocks, 1.2 steals
52.5% FG, 66.0% FT
Height (in shoes): 6’11
Weight: 247 lbs.
Standing reach: 9’1
My NCAA tournament bracket was busted early this year. March 18th to be exact. I had Georgetown going deep into the tournament. Tournament runner-up deep. I loved the way this team ran the Princeton offense. I loved the work John Thompson III had put in establishing a system that his players bought into. Most importantly, I loved Greg Monroe. With a 6’11 center who also doubles the best passer on the floor, the Hoyas were poised to make noise in March. Forty minutes of crisp double teams and hot shooting from the Ohio Bobcats dispatched Georgetown from the Big Dance ending Monroe’s collegiate career on a bitter tone but Thursday night will bring the start to what figures to be a long solid professional career for the Louisiana native.
Greg Monroe is projected to go in the mid-lottery even though he is an average prospect in many ways. Athletically, he is solid but nothing special. He has size, standing 6’11 with shoes and a healthy frame, weighing in at 247 lbs. but many have come and gone who were bigger and stronger than Monroe.
However, Monroe’s ability to understand the offense and his natural feel for the game separates him from the rest of the big man prospects. The Princeton offense that Georgetown runs puts a lot of onus on their bigs to pass and give up the ball to create better offense. Monroe has shown the ability to hit the read the defense and deliver the ball to the right player and in rhythm time and time again.
“Greg Monroe is the best passer in college basketball. He makes people better around him… I don’t care who you’re talking about. Now John Wall was great, let’s don’t take that away from him. John Wall puts the ball right in people’s hands. But I’ll tell you what, Greg Monroe makes people better around him. You don’t see many big guys who facilitate or who help other people. Similar to what Bill Walton did as a high-post player.” – Warriors GM Larry Riley
While that statement might sound slightly hyperbolic, Greg Monroe’s passing skills will ease his transition into the pros no matter the system of the team that drafts him.
Monroe’s ability to make an impact on the defensive end is very much in question. He has shown a lack of passion on that end of the floor, not fully committing his talents and at times effectively disappearing as a presence down low. He doesn’t have the natural timing nor the incredible leaping ability of an elite shot-blocker and will at best be an average deterrent. He does have quick hands for a big, as seen by his solid steal totals. While Monroe may be able to seamlessly make the jump on offense, his defense will take time to become serviceable on a man-to-man basis.
Despite a significant size and talent advantage over nearly all centers he faced in college, Monroe hasn’t shown the hunger or desire to dominate; beating but not demolishing opponents. In order to blossom into a star in the NBA one has to show an edge, an almost blood thirsty approach to the game, Greg Monroe has not shown this in his career on a consistent basis.
The team that drafts Monroe will be drafting a solid prospect. Monroe has not shown enough to be described as high ceiling but at the same time has very little bust potential given his court awareness and passing touch. While some analysts make the comparison between Greg and a less athletic Lamar Odom, he hasn’t shown anything to make me believe that he will be effective putting the ball on the floor the way Odom does. I think Greg Monroe ought to see a lot of himself in Vlade Divac, a soft handed center and one of the best passing big men of his time. While he may not be able to star on the professional level, Monroe should be able to have a long career as a serviceable starter on a playoff team.
DraftExpress (much more in full article):
Over the course of the season, Greg Monroe has slowly but surely risen up the draft boards of scouts and executives across the country, as he’s played excellent all-around basketball for the Hoyas, showing a level of assertiveness in all areas of the game so many felt was absent last season.
On the offensive end, Monroe frequently calls for the ball in the low and high post, while fighting consistently for position and moving off the ball to get open. With the ball, Monroe can hurt the defense in a variety of ways, but his best skill is undoubtedly his passing ability. Showing excellent court vision and instincts with the ball in his hands, Monroe makes a variety of outstanding passes from the perimeter, high post, and low post, finding open shooters and slashers alike. From the first day he steps onto the court in the NBA, there’s little doubt that he’ll already be among the league’s elite passing big men.
Beyond his passing, Monroe has a variety of effective tools at the college level, starting with his back-to-the-basket game. In the post, he shows excellent coordination and footwork, along with strong finishing ability with his left hand. He mixes in a good variety of power and finesse while using fakes and counter-moves pretty well to get his man off balance.
That said, there are a few notable problems with Monroe’s post game, most importantly his complete and utter lack of a right hand, along with any finesse moves off his left shoulder in general. When defenders force him to turn left shoulder, Monroe is incredibly inefficient, relying mainly on an inaccurate right-handed hook shot, but more often than not forcing his moves to the right shoulder instead, leading to more low percentage attempts. This has been a problem since he walked onto campus at Georgetown, and despite his improved overall play this season, this still remains a significant weakness.
NBA Comparison: Less athletic Lamar Odom
Strengths: Multifaceted lefty big-man with the skill set of a guard … The Georgetown’s Princeton style offensive system goes through him making him the primary decision maker … Unique set of skills. Excellent passer, almost unselfish to a fault. Displays great court vision and knowledge of teammates positioning on the court (2.7 assists per game) … Sneaks passes into extremely tight quarters with perfect placement … Handles the ball very adroitly, especially going to his natural left side … Possesses a versatile offensive game … Has the ability to face up and put the ball on the deck or take opponents into the post … Does not have a singular go to post move, but his unorthodox lefty style allows him to get to his comfort spots … His jump shot is pleasing to the eye, but he rarely shows it … On occasion has shown range out to the college three … Has shown increased aggression attacking the basket midway through his sophomore season … Taking 6 free throw attempts as a sophomore compared to 4.8 as a frosh … Added 25 pounds of muscle toward the end of his High School career … Has very broad shoulders and solid frame … His effort on the boards has been tremendous, turning a once looked upon weakness into a strength (10.2 rpg as a sophomore) … He’s quick off his feet and rebounds well out of his area … Possesses great length with a 7’2 wingspan … Disruptor in the paint with his shot blocking ability (1.6 blocks per game) … Very quick hands (1.7 steals per game) … Runs the floor exceedingly well for a man his size. Solid speed from end to end when he hustles … Has an awkward yet effective style and by all accounts a solid character …
Weaknesses: Takes a passive approach to the game … Rarely looks to dominate, choosing rather to take what comes to him and often defers to others. (In fairness, the Georgetown system stresses team play and limits individual creativity) … Lacks the killer instinct to bury his opponent … Often times look disinterested in playing and appears he would rather be some place else … Does not possess explosive athletic ability … His quickness and leaping ability are ordinary by NBA standards … Despite putting on weight, still has difficulty absorbing contact and finishing in traffic … Adding bulk in the past has slowed him down and it’s apparent he’s not a player that can carry any additional weight comfortably … No true post game repertoire … His footwork has improved but still needs significant advancements … Very awkward and deliberate in the post … Needs to improve his handle with his off (right) hand … His face up game can be very predictable and he’s prone to turnovers (2.6 per game) when shut off from his original move … Jump shot consistency is a concern … Has an extremely high arch on his shot … Incorporation of a mid-range jumper would be beneficial to his growth … Regression in free throw accuracy is alarming- dropping from 70% to 63% … Does not display his passion for defense on a play in play out basis … Could use an edginess to his game and get his hands dirty more often …
“But Monroe is very versatile. He can split the offense a little bit. He’s like a point forward who can shoot from the outside, who can really pass it. He’s not a jump-out-of-the-gym athlete. But he knows how to anticipate. He’s got good lateral foot work. He can fade or play with his back to the basket. He’s very versatile and we think he’s got a good ceiling on him.” – Ryan Blake, NBA scouting director
“He’s a legit 6-11 with skill. You can play him a couple spots, the high post or power forward. Golden State, they’d really like to get him. They’re saying he had a bad workout because they really want him to be there at six.” – Anonymous NBA executive
“He’s a wonderful passer, he’s got a great feel for the game, he’s a very, very gifted player. He’s just always going to fight the perception about his ticker. I don’t think you’ll ever confuse him with being athletic. But he’s a good guy to have on your team. He’s a talented kid and a smart kid.” – A second anonymous NBA executive
“We like Monroe a lot. He’s a lot different than Derrick Favors. He has an all-around game: left hand, right hand, great size. So I don’t think you [eliminate him] by any stretch. Monroe’s looking very good to us.” – Rod Thorn, Nets President
“You can’t pay attention to any of that. The only thing I can do is stay focused and try to enjoy this time. The only people that know are the people that work in the organizations and those people keep the cards close. The only thing I can do is stay focused and try to enjoy this time.” – Greg Monroe, on rumors he’s rising and falling in draft boards
“The offense of Coach Thompson didn’t stop me from shooting. I chose not to shoot when I could have. People make it seem like that’s all I want to do is pass, but just like anybody, I want to make that last shot. I think at this level, I’m going to have to make that shot.” – Greg Monroe
Greg Monroe among best available power forwards in 2010 NBA draft – Jimmy Smith – The Times-Picayune
Larry Riley pre-draft chat – Tim Kawakami – Talking Points
Before NBA Draft, Georgetown’s Greg Monroe is trying to ignore the rumor mill – Michael Lee – Washington Post
Georgetown product Greg Monroe now in Nets’ sights as draft approaches – Dave D’Alessandro – The Star-Ledger
Georgetown’s Monroe makes late push up draft boards – Scott Howard-Cooper – NBA.com
Poole: Warriors still searching for big man – Monte Poole – Bay Area News Group