By Camille Powell
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 14, 2007
On the same day the Georgetown men's basketball team started working on its present, its future got a major boost. Greg Monroe, a 6-foot-10 forward from Louisiana who is considered the nation's top high school senior, made an unofficial commitment to the Hoyas, according to his high school coach, Tyron Mouzon.
Monroe, the No. 1-rated player in the Class of 2008 according to Rivals.com, plans on signing a letter-of-intent when the early signing period begins Nov. 14. He is the fourth senior to unofficially commit to the Hoyas, joining 6-8 forward Chris Braswell of Hargrave Military Academy (ranked 63rd by Rivals.com), 6-10 forward Henry Sims of Mount Saint Joseph (64th), and 6-2 guard Jason Clark of O'Connell (89th).
Mouzon said he was somewhat surprised that Monroe committed so quickly, because he still had scheduled visits to Texas, Duke and Connecticut in the upcoming weeks. Monroe visited LSU last weekend.
"He originally said that he wanted to take all five visits," Mouzon said. "But he also said that once he felt good about a place, once he felt comfortable, he would make a decision."
Monroe has said he was looking for a program with an established coach that has helped develop players for the NBA. On Friday night, he was part of a capacity crowd of 2,500 at McDonough Arena for Georgetown's Midnight Madness, and he was greeted with chants of "Greg Mon-roe! Greg Mon-roe!" from the students in attendance.
He watched as the green Seattle SuperSonics jersey of Jeff Green -- the Big East player of the year, who was the fifth overall pick in June's NBA draft -- was revealed, alongside the NBA jerseys of 21 other Hoyas. He also saw the four Georgetown seniors -- likely future lottery pick Roy Hibbert, Jonathan Wallace, Tyler Crawford and Patrick Ewing Jr. -- unveil the 2007 Final Four banner. He even saw Coach John Thompson III dance.
Earlier this month, Monroe told the New Orleans Times-Picayune he liked Georgetown because "they have a very good coaching staff. [Thompson III] is a very smart coach. Their style of play and style of offense would probably be a very good fit for me. Nobody is confined to the post. You can touch the ball inside and at the top of the key and on the wing. That's appealing to me."
Monroe, who takes honors classes at Helen Cox High in Harvey, La., was dominant during USA Basketball's Youth Development Festival during the summer. He averaged 24 points, 12.6 rebounds and 3.6 blocks against some of the top prospects in the country.
"I think his greatest strength is his ability to do everything well," Mouzon said of Monroe, who turned 17 in June. "At 6-10, he can bring the ball up the court, he can pass like a point guard, he's got great vision and feel for the game, he's athletic, he makes people better. He has a huge upside because he's so young."