Versatile Monroe Is Duke's Top Target

When the 2008 Player Rankings were released by this week, Duke fans didn't need to look past the top overall spot to find the player who has drawn the title of "top overall prospect" on the Blue Devils' recruiting board. With that lofty ranking comes a big target - but Louisiana junior star Greg Monroe isn't worried.

As soon as he stepped on the court in Hampton, Va., Greg Monroe found himself right in the cross-hairs of every big man in the tournament with eyes on making a name for themselves.

"Overall, I think my team did fine this weekend. I did see players like Ed Davis coming after me, but overall I feel I did OK this weekend. The key is for me to play my game no matter what the other person is doing."

Throughout the weekend Monroe's game was more than enough to lead his Louisiana Select squad to four wins in five games. The 6'10 lefty put on a show Saturday by passing, ball handling, hitting the midrange shot, and finishing on the break or in the lane with authority.

For the fans of the program in Durham - it was eerily reminiscent of Josh McRoberts' final AAU summer circuit. That's a comparison that Monroe has heard before, and from an authoritative source.

"Coach K has said that I will play a similar style to what Josh did, and I really like that. It's music to my ears to hear him tell me they want to use my versatility. I was watching Josh a lot this season and I really liked how they just let him play and be the versatile player he is. They put him in a lot of positions on the floor, and that's the way I want to play in college. I want a lot of freedom - not just chained down and doing one thing."

In the past versatile big men have garnered a lot of praise, but there's always those who mistake the ability to do more with a dislike of physical play inside. Is that the case with the latest top big guy?

"I'm not really scared of contact, but I feel like I have a bigger impact doing what I do best. I don't feel like I have to play exclusively in the post. This weekend I was trying to show my versatility.

Long identified as Duke's top overall recruiting target in the class of 2008, Monroe has already begun feeling the love from Krzyzewski's program. But there is still a road to travel in this recruiting process.

"All the schools recruiting me have been really consistent with their attention. Coach K has been down to see me several times. Coach Self has been down too. LSU is always there, and Coach Pitino was at a playoff game."

Mid-season reports in his hometown newspaper quoted Monroe as if the race for his services was a two horse affair between LSU and Duke. However, while he certainly has a soft spot for the local team and his childhood favorite, both teams have a lot of work left to do.

"I don't really have a leader right now. There are a lot of things going for both LSU and Duke, but I can afford to take my time right now, and I'm going to do that. I want to take a closer look at what other guys the teams are bringing in, then I'll make the decision that is best for me."

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