What a difference two months can make. Detroit Pistons rookie center Greg Monroe has been pegged as having joined the “rookie elite” by one ESPN writer. As part of ESPN Insider (aka behind a paywall), ESPN writer Kevin Pelton showers Monroe with praise, particularly his rebounding and his shot selection. I can’t excerpt much, but this small snippet is a good representation of the write-up:
Monroe has been strong on the glass all season. He’s grabbed 16.0 percent of all available rebounds, good for fourth among rookies, and that figure has not changed appreciably in the month of January. What has improved has been Monroe’s accuracy. He shot 44 percent from the field in November and December, but has made 58.5 percent of his attempts this month.
And while Pistons followers have rightly criticized all those who wailed about Detroit’s latest lottery bust after he received two DNP-CDs in the first two games of the season, even ESPN got in on the act. On Nov. 17, ESPN Insider’s David Thorpe wrote that Monroe led the way in rookie disappointments. In the intervening weeks, Thorpe has largely changed his tune, however. On Thorpe’s latest installment of the top 50 rookies of the season, Monroe currently ranks sixth overall.