"My coach preaches defense a lot and I try to give up my body to help my team get big wins," Monroe told Inside Carolina on Thursday. "A lot of the time that means blocking shots or doing other little things."
Watch him play and it's easy to understand why he's so highly sought after and regarded. He runs well, scores with either hand, looks comfortable on mid range jumpers and is a way above average ball handler and passer for somebody his size. But, it's by spending a few minutes with him away from the court that you truly appreciate what he brings to the table as a person, and not just a basketball player.
In fact, it's more important to Monroe that he's highly regarded off the court.
"Everybody that talks to me, they always talk to me about my image off the court," said Monroe. "Everybody knows me because of how I play on the court but they don't know about me off the court. You have to have a lot of character and you want to have a good image portrayed"
Exactly how does he go about being a more well rounded person and avoiding thinking too highly of himself because of his hoops success?
"Just by doing anything that a normal 16 year old does. You know, go to the movies and hang out with my teammates," said Monroe. "I don't find it that hard to be normal. All of the people around me keep me level headed."
However, the fact remains that the 16-year-old is the premier prospect in the class of 2008, which means he will receive extra attention, whether he seeks it or not. With coaches from powerhouses like North Carolina, Duke, LSU, Texas, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Florida making it well known that they are interested – plus lots of media attention -- Monroe has temporarily put the breaks on his recruitment.
At least he's trying to.
"Right now I'm trying to hold off on the recruiting process," said Monroe, while declining to get specific about any possible favorites. "I'm talking to a couple of them (schools) and just telling them where I'm at. But, I'm really holding off on that stuff until the end of the season."
When asked specifically about North Carolina, Monroe did acknowledge that the Tar Heels have been an active party in his recruitment, but pointed out that most approaches taken have pretty much been the same. He'd also like to take some visits, but he's not ready to declare exactly where he'll stop by, at least not publicly.
"A lot of it has really been the same. They (North Carolina) are just calling and telling me they are interested and coming out to watch me play," said Monroe. "Not right now, but maybe in the summer I'll do some visits. I know I'll hold off until after the season to decide on that type of stuff."
Since he won't be cutting things down until the spring or summer, Monroe made it clear that he's not going to be giving many hints about which way he is or isn't leaning.
"Just wherever the best situation for me is that I'm going to get in and fit," said Monroe of what's important to him in a college. "I'd like a coach that is going to help me get to the next level and a coach who is really going to challenge me."