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Hoya, Nice to Know Ya

Greg Monroe declares for the NBA Draft. Orange Nation breathes sigh of relief.

Posted: D.A.

As good as Greg Monroe was at Georgetown, you always got the feeling he could’ve been even more dominant.

He was inserted into the starting lineup as soon as he stepped on campus and why not? Monroe was a man-child, 6′ 11″, 250 pounds – a frame big enough to bang down low, but a game which always felt more like a small forward.

He was Big East Rookie of the Year tallying nearly 13 ppg and 7 rpg – and this year upped those to 16 and 10. He scored a double-double in the Hoyas Big East Tourney upset of Syracuse and at times ate Marquette alive in the semis.

Look, this isn’t easy for me to admit. I have a transparent distaste for all things Hoya. But I had really good seats for that Friday night session – just a few rows behind the courtside media. And I couldn’t help but watch Monroe continuously. He was just a bigger human being than everyone else on the court. He was so much more athletic and coordinated than your normal 6′ 11″ big man. At times, he could own the floor.

But he put it together only in spurts – never quite for the entire game. Maybe that comes with maturity. Hard for a sophomore to demand the ball from older, veteran teammates when the game is on the line. Monroe might also be simply typical of the modern American basketball star – almost passive in his spectacular talents, worn bored by years of AAU and college coddling.

You tend to forget just how unstoppable he was at times, like the second-half against Top-15 Notre Dame on the road as a freshman.

Either way, it’s good to have him out of the Big East. Even the Washington Post seems to be playing Debbie Downer.

“Monroe’s departure likely will drop Georgetown from a favorite for next season’s Big East title to merely a contender.”

The preseason breakdown of the Hoyas minus Monroe:

“With Chris Wright and Austin Freeman returning for their senior years, along with the addition of 6-2 Markel Starks of Georgetown Prep, Georgetown could boast one of the best back courts in the country. But Monroe’s absence will be felt. Among those tasked with shouldering the front-court load will be rising senior Julian Vaughn, rising sophomore Jerrelle Benimon and, ideally, the Hoyas’ two incoming front-court recruits — 6-8 Nate Lubick of St. Mark’s School in Massachusetts and Moses Abraham, a 6-9, 235-pound center from Progressive Christian Academy who has given Georgetown an oral commitment.”

JT3 is under no delusions. Can’t easily replace the man-child.

“I’m not anticipating anyone replacing Greg in that regard. I think we’re going to have the experience and the bodies where there is going to be lot of competition, and there are going to be lot of different options for who’s in the game with each other.”

Enter Fab Melo. Exit Greg Monroe. That sounds good to us.

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