Friday, January 8, 2010

In the Spotlight: Greg Monroe (updated)


Greg Monroe

Position: Power Forward / Center
Ht: 6-11, Wt: 250
Hometown: New Orleans, LA
College: Georgetown
Class: Sophomore
Age: 06/04/90

Strengths
  • Plays well within the team concept / flow of offense.
  • Excels when facing the basket (most comfortable) – Has an advanced skill set from the high post
  • Great Passer from the high post – sees the floor well for a big.
  • Understands how to play pick and roll basketball.
  • Soft Hands 
  • Developing a lefty jump hook - which is his go to (only dependable) move when he gets the ball in the post.
  • Good defensive rebounder that gets himself in position to secure rbs. off the glass / uses his length effectively… (Currently averaging 10.3 rbs/ gm – up from 6.5 rbs/ gm last season
  • Good touch / form from the outside, with range that extends to 18 feet.
  • Mature beyond his years… Appears to be very coachable… Likable personality, not a selfish kid / wants to be part of the team, despite being so highly regarded out of HS.
  • Exceptional length – uses to create deflections, get in passing lanes, contest shots.
  • Defensive Presence – great team defender with very good court awareness… Helps out, he’s active, blocks shots.
  • Defensively, he shows well on the pick and roll… He understands how to hedge out to prevent penetration.


Weaknesses
  • Unimpressive athletically
  • Not explosive off his feet – lacking a burst.
  • Limited quickness and not very fast.
  • Everything is left – When he puts the ball on the floor, it’s left. Even heavily favors left side of court on offensive possessions when he’s not in the high post.
  • Weak upper body – needs to get stronger and be able to play more physical.
  • Not comfortable when he gets the ball with his back to the basket. Has limited offensive moves and he typically looks to pass out the post.
  • Very methodical, slow developing jumper - good form but needs quicker release.
  • Can go through stretches in which he’s not involved in the offensive flow… Needs to maintain his intensity.
  • Defensively, not a very effective on the ball, man-to-man defender… his foot speed / strength are his biggest challenges… much more efficient helping off the ball.

Overall

Greg Monroe entered college a season ago with lofty expectation, as the #1 recruit in the nation. With all of the hype, he could have easily forced shots and tried to prove himself as a top NBA prospect, because everyone else seemed caught up in his future. Instead, he opted to fit in on a young Georgetown team. This accentuates Greg Monroe the basketball player… his style of play is within the team concept.

He’s not someone that is going to demand the ball, put up eye popping scoring numbers or try to dominate the game. Rather, he’s someone that has great size (6’11, 250 lbs) and is most effective playing out of the high post. He makes smart decisions, as he has the complete package in that he can take his man off the dribble (going left), shoot from about 18 feet and in (although slow release), back cut to get in scoring position, and he’s a very good passer for a big. Those are the positives.

The negative is that Monroe’s potential impact on the NBA level is not as limitless as most people initially projected. His primary issue is that he’s limited athletically, lacking the explosiveness, speed, and quickness to be as effective in the NBA. He also isn’t an imposing physical presence, currently lacking the strength to handle the contact his body will absorb in the paint at the next level.

On the defensive side of the ball, I also see Monroe facing a big challenge making the transition. Playing within the team concept, he’s excellent. He knows how to defend the pick and roll (does a great job hedging out to prevent penetration). He also uses his length to get in the passing lanes and contests shots coming over from the weak side.

However, on the ball is where I can see Monroe struggling. His foot speed is slow and with the ability of quicker 4’s to step outside, Monroe will have a hard time keeping his man in front of him. And until he bulks up, defending much stronger 5’s will be a big challenge as well.

My Take:

What I hear and what I see with Monroe are two different things.  If expectations were lowered and Monroe was seen for what he is, I would be much more excited about his future. In my eyes, he’ll never be an All-Star caliber NBA player that will put up big scoring numbers, but that's okay.

To me, Monroe is someone that can step in and contribute at the NBA level.  He has a maturity and skill set that will enable him to be a solid contributor on a winning team.  He’s a smart player, plays within the flow of the offense, and he understands how to play defensively within the team concept.

Around picks #12 - #15, I would start looking closely at Monroe. Because of his limitations athletically, I would have a hard time being excited about selecting Monroe in the top 10.


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