Interview with a Future NBA Star: Greg Monroe

Interview with a Future NBA Star: Greg Monroe
Greg Monroe profile image

Greg Monroe, Center for the Detroit Pistons

While the Detroit Pistons will garner little exposure from the national media, we’d like to introduce you to one of their few bright spots: 6-11, 250-pound center Greg Monroe. After playing two seasons of NCAA basketball at Georgetown, Monroe is in his second season with the Pistons.

Coach Nick interviewed Greg Monroe during the 2010 Summer League in Las Vegas. Greg answered questions on footwork, skill development & basketball fundamentals:

In his first season, Monroe averaged 9.4 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.6 blocks in 80 games. This season, through 57 games, Monroe has increased his scoring (15.6 points), rebounds (9.6) and assists (2.4). He has improved his free-throw shooting from 62% to 75% but his turnovers have increased from 1.01 to 2.58 turnovers per game.

Greg Monroe resembles your prototypical center in the NBA today, yet displays some old school skills that make him a favorite of ours. He’s more suited to passing & running an offense but he’s not bulky or a huge defense presence (less than one block/game). To his credit, Monroe will take what the defense gives him and make moves to the hoop or pass to a cutter. The more interior passes he makes, the more that inspires his teammates to continue cutting to the hoop. While his lack of bulk might initially seem like a disadvantage, there are very few large, back to the basket centers left to cause him problems. In fact, his quickness is more trouble for the slower footed centers as he can attack from the high post.

Strengths:
Decision making, passing, rebounding, footwork, team play, positive influence, shooting touch, left-handed, good with both hands

Weaknesses:
Aggression, perimeter shooting beyond 15-feet, not a shut-down defensive presence

Upside:
All-Star skill and potential, could be a key 2nd option on a contender.

Comparison:
More Tim Duncan than Kevin Garnett in demeanor, he can pick you apart from the high-post and in particular when he faces-up opponents. He hasn’t established himself as a 20+ point scorer yet.

Greg Monroe drive left (NBAE Getty Images)

It’s hard to say what the future holds for Monroe given the situation in Detroit. On a better team, Monroe’s high skill level and basketball acumen has him on the path to All-Star consideration. But on a struggling team, with minimal offensive and defensive support, opponents can limit Monroe’s contributions.

As basketball fans, we hope that Greg continues to improve. His skill set and style of play are conducive to winning and overall team play. We wish those skills weren’t so rare in this day and age, and perhaps he’ll inspire more big men to master the fundamentals before they get to the NBA.

Written by Arun and Coach Nick

About The Author

Coach Nick is the founder of BballBreakdown, coached the Triangle Offense at the high school level, and counts Tex Winter and Pete Newell as mentors. For more of our conversation, follow him @BBALLBREAKDOWN.

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