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Published: Friday, 6/25/2010

NBA draft: Pistons pick Monroe from Georgetown


AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - The Detroit Pistons didn't work out Greg Monroe before drafting him seventh overall in the NBA draft.

They didn't have to, liking what they saw the power forward do at Georgetown and liking what they heard about him off the court.

"When you're out scouting guys for two years like we have been, you have a good feel for who he is," Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars said last night. "I went to see him play a couple times this year and the staff saw him play a ton of times the past two years. I don't think it's a mystery about what he can do. I've talked to him before and he's a high-character guy who will fit in here."

Detroit bolstered its thin frontcourt with the 6-foot-10, 225-pound Monroe, who averaged 16 points and nearly 10 rebounds last season and was a third-team All-American as a sophomore for the Hoyas.

In the second round, Detroit selected Mississippi guard Terrico White.

The 6-foot-5 White averaged 15.1 points and 4.6 rebounds a game last season as a sophomore.

The Pistons finished lastseason 27-55 - their worst record since 1994 - and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

They had a top-10 pick for just the third time since Dumars was put in charge of the front office. The previous two were busts: Darko Milicic was drafted No. 2 overall in 2003, two years after Rodney White was taken ninth overall.

Dumars predicted the first five picks in the 2010 draft - John Wall, Evan Turner, Derrick Favors, Wesley Johnson, and DeMarcus Cousins - and seemed to have some solid choices after Golden State selected Ekpe Udoh sixth overall.

He chose Monroe over other options: Wake Forest's Al-Farouq Aminu, who was drafted No. 8 overall, North Carolina's Ed Davis, and Cole Aldrich of Kansas.

Monroe will get a chance to make an impact right away on a team that is desperately seeking big players and hoping to avoid missing the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time since the mid-1990s.

He has a versatile offensive game in the post and can make plays facing the basket.

Monroe, who is from New Orleans, is regarded as an excellent passer with good instincts.

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