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Greg Monroe goes pro after all

For a while there, it looked like Greg Monroe was going to do something entirely unlikely: stay for another year of college.

Monroe is a lottery pick. Most lottery picks go to the NBA draft. But Monroe was a lottery pick after his freshman season, too, and he declined a rich NBA rookie contract to come back to Georgetown and play for another season. This doesn't happen all that often in the one-and-done era, but Monroe did it.

Would he do it again? Would Monroe face the lottery again after his sophomore season, look at all those millions of dollars on the table before him, and opt for college again? Hey, he did it once -- why not a second time?

Not so much. Sorry, Georgetown fans, but Monroe is going to be in the NBA next year. Monroe has declared for the draft and will hire an agent, according to a release from Georgetown Saturday. In the release, Monroe says it was "mentally what he wanted to do" and that he feels "ready" to take the next step in his basketball career.

The move will hurt, if not devastate, Georgetown in 2010-11. The Hoyas would have been a likely Big East favorite with returners Austin Freeman, Chris Wright, and the hypothetical Monroe in the middle. John Thompson III will welcome a good recruiting class with two top 20 position players in power forward Nate Lubick and point guard Markel Starks. Instead of complementing Monroe, though, Lubick will have to step in and attempt to fill the big man's lofty lottery-bound shoes.

As for Monroe? His draft stock has wobbled this year, but he found himself back in the top 10 recently. NBA scouts love Monroe's size, his basketball IQ, and his versatility, even if they're not wild about his "lack of explosive athleticism." Regardless, the forward should be a productive NBA player, his Georgetown years formative but not definitive. We'll remember him well.