Greg Monroe talks recruitment

AKRON, OH - Greg Monroe, the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2008, isn't close to making a college decision. Monroe still has a lengthy list and is just now beginning to sort out his recruitment. Up next: Figuring out which schools he'll visit in the fall. Is Louisville still in the mix? Will he visit Rick Pitino's Cardinals? Monroe spoke with about his recruitment.

Those hoping for a college decision soon from Greg Monroe, the nation's top-rated prospect, will have to keep on waiting.

With a rather long list of college suitors, Monroe's next big step in terms of his recruitment will be to narrow things down to a more manageable number, then make four or five official visits before picking a college.

"I'm wide-open right now," Monroe said Sunday. "I'm just talking to a lot of coaches – I have a long list so I'm really wide-open. I'm trying to get a Top 5 by September 1 and then go from there."

When Monroe says he's got a long list, he's not joking. While many of the nation's Top 100 prospects have already made their decisions, Monroe says he's still considering nearly a dozen programs.

Asked which schools have told him that he's their No. 1 recruiting target, Monroe said, "Pretty much everybody says that. There's about 10 or 11 (schools on my list), probably. Georgetown, Louisville, Duke, Kansas, LSU, Kentucky, Texas, USC, and the list goes on."

Monroe knows how to draw a crowd. Sunday at the Lebron James Skills Academy, Louisville's Rick Pitino, Duke's Coach K, Georgetown's John Thompson III, Texas' Rick Barnes and Kansas' Bill Self were easy to spot under the basket watching the lithe 6-foot-9 Monroe.

Monroe said he's recently begun devoting more energy to his recruitment and plans to decide later this summer which schools his visit in the fall.

Rick Pitino watched Monroe Sunday.

"That's what I'm working on right now," Monroe said. "I'm starting to talk to the coaches a little bit more than I was before to try to feel them out and get a relationship with all the coaches. I'm going to sit down with my mother and we're going to decide where I'm going to take my visits. Then I'll make my decision after that."

Louisville's been on Monroe's for a while. Former Louisville assistant Marvin Menzies was recruiting Monroe for the Cardinals, but has since left to become head coach at New Mexico State.

"Actually, Louisville – coach Menzies was recruiting me and he left, but I talked to Rick Pitino and he's still keeping in touch," said Monroe. "Rick Pitino is an NBA coach and he knows what it takes to get to the next level. So (playing there) would be for my benefit, but they're in the same boat as everyone else right now."

Saturday night, Monroe went up against 6-foot-9 Louisville commit Samardo Samuels. Samuels probably won the individual matchup – and the game, but Monroe flashed his enormous talent.

"He's one of the better big men in the camp and in the nation, too," Monroe said of Samuels. "He's always a tough matchup."

Currently ranked the No. 1 prospect in the nation by most recruiting services, Monroe said he's not concerned about the rankings – instead choosing to focus on improving his game.

"My only goal right now is to get better and be the best player that I can be," Monroe said. "Rewards come from hard work. All I'm trying to do is work hard and become the best player I can. I would love to be (No. 1), but that's not my main focus right now."

Monroe said he's not sure whether he'll sign a letter of intent this fall.

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