2010 NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Greg Monroe

Editor's Note, by rook6980:
This is the 12th installment in a series of regular postings on draft prospects.  This series will take a look at the top draft prospects for the 2010 NBA Draft in June. The plan is to have one or two a week, leading up to a flurry of activity the week of the draft. My DVR is crammed full of college games, and I'm watching and writing as fast as I can.

Greg Monroe

19 years old
6'11"; 240 lbs.
Georgetown, Sophomore

Monroe's draft rankings have been all over the place. In last year's draft, he was ranked as high as third before he pulled out. DraftExpress had him at #3 on their 2010 mock draft earlier this year, and as the season progressed, he fell out of the top ten and then into the bottom half of the first round before showing some consistency late in the season. He's currently ranked #9 on DraftExpress.

Monroe declared for the 2010 NBA Draft on April 17th and he will hire an agent.

Greg Monroe is a smooth, very skilled left-handed big man. He possesses excellent size for a post player, standing 6'11" and weighing 240 pounds with a 7'2" wingspan. He's not an explosive athlete, typically playing most of his game below the rim, but his skills and fundamentals are unmatched by any big man in the draft.

His game is all about intelligence, timing and his incredibly high skill level. In the past he was accused of disappearing from games and sometimes showing a lack of interest on the defensive end. This year, and especially the second half of the year, he's shown more intensity and alertness, and as a result he's been more consistent both offensively and defensively. Perhaps the most fundamentally sound big man in the draft (with the possible exception of Cole Aldrich), Monroe needs to work on his conditioning. Also, adding more bulk and strength will only help his game.

The first thing you have to talk about with Greg Monroe is that he's an extremely skilled big man. He establishes and holds low post position. He has a polished and effective post game with excellent fundamentals. Being left-handed helps. His footwork is textbook. He's got an array of post moves, counter-moves and counter-counters. Using pump fakes well, he's able to score even against bigger or more athletic opponents. He's an excellent finisher and doesn't avoid contact, resulting in getting to the Free Throw line at an excellent clip (7.2 attempts per 40). He's a good free throw shooter (70% last year, and 70% the last half of this year). However, his utter lack of a right hand, and the fact that he plays below the rim may hurt him a bit at the next level.

Monroe moves well without the ball, and was excellent in the very few pick-and-roll plays I saw Georgetown execute this year. He is a very good ball handler. Using hesitation moves and able to change directions, he can take his man off the dribble. His lack of a right hand and general lack of explosiveness will limit his effectiveness in this area. He does tend to turn the ball over (3.8 per 40); with traveling frequently being the reason.

Monroe is a tremendous passer, off the dribble, on the break, from the low post, from the high post or anywhere in between. He averaged 4.4 Assists (per 40 minutes) this year. Using superb vision, Monroe sees the whole court and is able to get the ball to cutters and open shooters. It is an easy proclamation to say that Monroe is the best passing big man in the draft, but it could also be argued that he's the best passer in the draft, regardless of position.

Monroe has a solid outside shot, with good mechanics and decent range; but his relatively low release point may be a problem at the next level against bigger, more athletic players. He didn't shoot well early in the year, but he was better last year, and much improved again at the end of this year, hitting over 50% of his jump shots. He went through the same thing with his free-throw shooting, so there may have been some flaw in his mechanics (that I didn't see) that he worked on during the year. The long and short of it is that Monroe should be at least a decent threat from mid-range.

Tall, with a long wingspan and very nice coordination and mobility, Monroe all the tools to be a solid defender in the NBA. He has made tremendous strides from his freshman year. He plays strong, physical post defense, bumping his man off stride and rarely gives up position. He's an excellent pick-and-roll defender, hedging on the screen but still able to get back to his man. He uses his superb court vision along with terrific hands and excellent timing disrupt the passing lanes and gather in quite a few steals. His activity level, awareness and intensity have all picked up from last year. He rotates well, and with his long frame is able to contests shots. Even though he's not especially athletic, Monroe will block a few shots just because he has good quickness and excellent timing.

However, although he shows adequate quickness for a big man, he looks uncomfortable defending on the perimeter; where he frequently gets beat by quicker players. He will need to improve his perimeter defense to be able to defend stretch fours in the Association.

Last year, the biggest knock against Monroe was that he was a poor rebounder for a big man. He frequently was beaten to the glass by smaller, weaker players, especially on the defensive side. This year has seen a complete turn around in Monroe's numbers on the glass. He's worked hard to become a good fundamental rebounder, making an effort to find his man, box out, and then go to the ball strong with two hands. He has also been much more active this year, showing more energy and alertness which in turn has improved his awareness of when shots were going up. His rebounding stats reflect that hard work, as he increased his rebounds from 8.5 to 11.5 (per 40). Continued improvement in this area should make Monroe an excellent rebounder in the NBA.

STRENGTHS:

  • Excellent size and length
  • NBA ready body
  • Long, 7-foot-2 wingspan
  • Left-handed
  • Coordinated, fluid, mobile
  • Intangibles: Poised. Smart. Unselfish. Coachable. Low risk. Court vision.
  • Very high skill level
  • Very versatile: high post, low post, in-between
  • Fundamentally sound
  • Fantastic passer
  • Quick for a big man
  • Moves his feet well on defense
  • Good shot blocker
  • Can score from anywhere
  • Good face up jump shot
  • Strong low post game
  • Can get to the FT line
  • Excellent ball handler
  • Young - still only 19

 

WEAKNESSES:

  • Only Average athleticism-plays below the rim
  • Turnover prone (Traveling)
  • Consistency
  • Needs to add strength
  • Perimeter defense

Greg Monroe lacks the elite athleticism, flash and "charisma" to be an NBA superstar, but his great intangibles, offensive skills, incredible passing ability, defensive potential and much improved rebounding should make GM's in the league take a long hard look at him in the mid-lottery. At the time of the Draft, Monroe will still only be 20 years old, and in my opinion, he still has a great deal of upside. He is a fundamentally sound and intelligent player, so even as a rookie he should earn plenty of playing time in someone's rotation, and he should be a very good pro for a long time.

 

Previous Draft Profiles:

John Wall PG 6-4 195 Fr Kentucky Declared for the NBA Draft.
Evan Turner SG 6-7
217 Jr. Ohio St Declared for the NBA Draft.
Wesley Johnson SF 6-7 205 Jr. Syracuse Declared for the NBA Draft.
Derrick Favors PF 6-9 246 Fr. Ga. Tech Undecided
DeMarcus Cousins C 6-11 280 Fr. Kentucky Declared for the NBA Draft.
Al-Farouq Aminu F 6-8 218 Soph. Wake Forest Declared for the NBA Draft; signed with an agent
Cole Aldrich C 6-11 245 Jr. Kansas Declared for the NBA Draft, will hire agent
Greg Monroe C 6-10 247 Soph. Georgetown Declared for the NBA Draft, will hire agent.
Patrick Patterson F 6-8 235 Jr. Kentucky Undecided
Ed Davis F 6-10 225 Soph. North Carolina Declared for the NBA Draft.
Hassan Whiteside -Upcoming
C
7-0
235
Fr.
Marshall
Declared for the NBA Draft; will hire agent
Xavier Henry
SG
6-6
220
Fr.
Kansas
Declared for the NBA Draft.
Damion James
SF
6-7
227
Sr.
Texas
Senior - Eligible for the Draft
Ekpe Udoh
PF/C
6-10
240
Jr.
Baylor
Undecided
Stanley Robinson
SF
6-8
220
Sr.
UConn
Senior - Eligible for the Draft
James Anderson
SG
6-6
195
Jr.
Oklahoma St.
Declared for draft, has not hired agent
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