Anyone watching Georgetown play this year has to be a little frustrated by the play of Greg Monroe. He's obviously got incredible talent and he seems like a great kid who blends in well with the team. But the only thing we can be sure of is not being able to predict which Monroe will show up. (before last night i thought he only got up for big games. so much for that theory). Hoya fans are looking for the emergence of a dominant player while Greg seems intent on being a complimentary one on many nights.
What to do? I've seen Coach Thompson prod him to be more aggressive. One can assume his teamates wouldn't mind being put on his shoulders. Who can get through to him that we want more, we need more from him.
That's where Patrick Ewing and Alonzo Mourning come in. Monroe has the natural talent of both of them. What he lacks is the drive and intensity , maybe the meaness, they both brought to the court night after night. Wouldn't it be great if they show up between now and Saturday to pay Greg a little visit?
Since it's not likely to happen, here's how my twisted brain hopes it would go if it did.
Thursday morning, McDonough Arena, Hoyas are halfway through a morning practice when Alonzo Mourning and Patrick Ewing walk into the gym.
Patrick: "Coach, we need to borrow number 10 for a few minutes.
Alonzo: "we've got something we want to talk to him about"
Patrick looking around the gym and the banners says to Chris Wright and Austin Freeman "You guys actually lost two straight to Old Dominion in here? For real?
Chris and Austin go back to practicing free throws.
Editors Note (i'm well aware that the language of the following exchange bears little resemblence to reality unless by some chance all three of these guys grew up in the same white suburban northeastern town that i did. It's my dream and they'll all talk like middle aged, frustrated suburban basketball fans. You feel me?)
Greg: "Mr Ewing, Mr. Mourning, what are you doing here?
Patrick: "Don't call me Mr. Ewing, call me sir.
Alonzo: "We've been watching you closely and you've got to change up some things. You show a lot of promise, but you've got to step up your game if you're going anywhere this year.
Greg: "like what? We"ve got great chemistry this year, the team is really working well together.
Patrick: "Whose team is it?
Greg: "all of ours...and coach of course"
Alonzo: "Wrong answer. Its your team. Your the best player, start acting like it. Nobody needs you to put up forty points a game or anything, but you can't have a game with only five shots and not raise hell with the rest of the guys. Don't ask for the ball, demand it. Two years from now, the rest of the guys are not going to obsess on how many points they scored, they want an NCAA championship and only you can deliver it."
Greg: "But we get along because we share, no stars here.
Patrick: "Wrong again. This isn't about getting along. It's about winning. Be a leader, demand the ball, play hard for every minute your out there. Trust me they'll like you just fine when you're raising one of those banners.
Greg: "You guys don't understand. Didn't you see ESPN called me the best passing center in the country.
Alonzo: "That may be true, but you're not even the best passer on the team. Look at your assist turnover ratio. And exactly how many offensive rebounds do you get off those passes?
Greg: "i"m just working in the system"
Patrick: "We get it, you like making the perfect pass, backdoor cut, easy layup. Greg...imagine how much easier that will be if the defense actually thinks you're going to shoot? That taking it hard to the rack isn't the last option. Try attacking the basket and then you can be Magic Johnson.
Alonzo "Here's a formula that worked for both of us which is team first because it will make your teamates better. First, intimidate...block shots, rebound, hard fouls..maybe even a few loud snarls. Your teamates will benefit if the other team is afraid of you..trust me..just ask Patrick. Being a constant scoring threat. You've got the talent to think shot first and the option to pass second."
Greg: "I just like to let the game come to me, like all the stars."
Patrick: "You've just fallen for the biggest load of horse shit that cable tv and dumb basketball writers dish out. Great players don't let the game come to them, they impose themselves on the game."
Alonzo: "You think MJ was letting the game come to him when he savagely dunked on Patrick in the playoffs?"
Patrick gets the look...you know the look
Alonzo: "Everything feeds off you. Big rebounds, blocks and strong inside moves will set the tone. It's great you can pass, that helps. But so can everyone else. Think about it this way...on Saturday I'm going to concentrate on the things that only i can do...intimidate, take it strong to the rack, rebound...and let the perimter players do what they do.
Patrick: "The offense works, your teamates are strong, but they need more from you...doing the things they CAN'T do.
Greg: "Nothing wrong with finesse players, right?
Alonzo: "Where do you think you are, Duke?
Patrick: "Your fouls kill me. Have you noticed you commit the majority of your fouls 20 feet from the basket or on offensive fouls that start 20 feet out? You've got five fouls, If you're going to use them, use them to send a message. I guarantee that if you knock somebody on his ass driving to your basket that will stay with him a lot longer than a reach in at the top of the key."
Alonzo: "listen to Patrick..he knows what he's talking about.
Greg: "I've got to admit, sometimes when the ball's not coming my way, i get a little bored.
Patrick: "Really, i never noticed that. This is Georgetown basketball, you're not in the ACC. You play hard for forty minutes. We don't take possesions off to watch the offense. Demand the ball and let everybody know how pissed you are when you don't get it where you want it and when you want it.
Alonzo: "The team and the crowd will feed of you. Cool doesn't translate well in the Big East. Who did better, Patick or Pearl Washington?
Greg: "I hear you guys, but coach wants finesse team.
Alonzo: "Your wrong on that. He wants a smart, but aggressive team
Patrick: "It's in his genes. He likes it when people scream and yell, he grew up with it.
Greg: "I get it, you're right, I'm going to be a different player from now on." Any last words of advice?"
Patrick: "Make every minute count, it will end all too soon. You'll be in the pros soon and being paid millions to loaf and be cool.
Alonzo: "Only in America do we ask for supreme effort for free and pay millions to slack off.
Greg: "Let me ask you guys one other thing. You know Mutombo, Is that story about him actually true?"
Alonzo and Patrick walk away while both simultaneously text each other....."smh"
Dream meeting over....Greg you're great and a credit to the univeristy but we want more, we need more.