Palms Profile: Greg Monroe

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Greg Monroe and Cox hung in there against an upset minded bunch from Florida. The big fella breaks down his game, the season and his recruitment with

Greg Monroe has a singular vision for his high school year and it's not about staving off contenders who want his top spot in the rankings.

"I want to win a state championship," Monroe said after leading Gretna (La.) Cox to its 15th win of the year. "It's only our second year of existence so we're trying to get our school on the map and get some recognition around the state."

Recognition, through his first two years of high school, hasn't been an issues for the 6-foot-9 power forward. From the sounds of it, plenty of suitors have been through the gym already this year making the rounds.

After an intense game, Monroe indicated Duke's Coach K, LSU's John Brady, Kansas' Bill Self, Texas coach Rick Barnes and USC's Tim Floyd have been by. Monroe added that Louisville and Kentucky have sent assistants and surely other have been through.

Used A Lot In High Post
Many in the recruiting world believe that Duke and LSU, two teams who met in the regional finals last year, could renew the rivalry in the form of Monroe's recruitment.

The nation's top-ranked player deflected any speculation about the Tigers and Blue Devils. "Right now I'm wide open," Monroe said. "I'm considering a lot of schools at this point but I'm holding off my decision in the season. After the season I'll cut it down."

Meanwhile programs are jockeying for position on his list. Scattered about the gym Monday night were assistants from Duke, Louisville, North Carolina and USC. The Tar Heels have not been mentioned prominently by Monroe while USC's Gib Arnold had the best seat for branding: right behind the Cox bench.

On the court, Monroe's team staved off a charge from a charged up group of Floridians. He finished with 21 and 9 rebounds. Cox tries to take advantage of Monroe's versatility by playing him in the high post so he can get catches and create.

"By people focusing a lot on me it allows me to get my teammates easy shots."

That's not to say the big fella doesn't get frustrated. Most high school kids his size experience the star treatment and that means a contingent of gnat-like guards swatting away at him on every possession. It can get maddening for a lot of bigs but Monroe handles it without obvious frustration.

"Most games we play its 3 people and maybe 4 trying. My coach gets our guys to back cut and get easy lay-ups because so much attention is on me.

"Every night you have to come out and play as hard as you can now; the colleges are on your back."

And so is one second-year team from Gretna, La.

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