And with this, Georgetown's hopes of being a preseason top-5 team have evaporated: star big man Greg Monroe will declare for the NBA Draft and sign with an agent, precluding any possibility of him returning to play for the Hoyas, according to Jeff Goodman of Fox Sports.
Monroe is one of the last highly touted prospects to leave school in what figures to be a deep draft this June (Duke's Kyle Singler is more or less the lone top undecided college player at this juncture). The fact that Monroe took, relatively, so long to make his decision had stoked hopes among the Hoya faithful that he would return for his junior season after Georgetown's disappointing end to the season, losing to 14-seed Ohio in the first round of the NCAA tournament. But, ultimately, his status as a likely lottery pick made passing up the draft impossible. ESPN's Chad Ford ranks Monroe as the 10th-best prospect in the class, while Draft Express has him 9th, and NBADraft.net puts him 6th.
The 6'11, 250-pound Monroe averaged 16.1 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game for the Hoyas, as he anchored them en route to second-place in the Big East tournament and a 3-seed in the NCAA tournament. While Monroe put up more than respectable scoring and rebounding numbers, it's really his passing ability and overall skill level that separates him from the other bigs in this year's draft class. Monroe has a knack for finding open teammates with looks you'd expect from a point guard rather than a center, along with a solid face-up game and jump shot that should allow him to transition to the power forward slot in the pros.
Monroe was named to the All Big East First Team and was the Pete Newell Big Man of the Year for 2010.
Georgetown center Greg Monroe is expected to be a lottery pick in this year's NBA Draft, but following Georgetown's disappointing first-round NCAA Tournament loss to Ohio, Monroe told reporters that he wants to come back for his junior season.
"I'm ready to go back and see how I can help my team next year," Monroe said.
Georgetown coach John Thompson III isn't as convinced Monroe has made up his mind, telling reporters that Monroe will "sit and make that decision as time goes on." It's certainly possible that Monroe was just frustrated about how Georgetown's season ended and wanted to proclaim his hope to make amends next season.
Draft Express currently projects Monroe to be the ninth overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.