Monroe poses pack of trouble for Broadnax

January 25, 1991|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Evening Sun Staff

COLLEGE PARK -- Most defenders, having seen the shooting exhibition that North Carolina State's Rodney Monroe put on Wednesday against Duke, would ask for a nice, warm glass of milk and a quiet room to contemplate the meaning of life rather than face him.

But Maryland's Vince Broadnax, who will spend tomorrow afternoon getting to know Monroe, the Atlantic Coast Conference's leading scorer, says the experience he will undertake is a "challenge."

"People might make a big issue out of it, since Rodney Monroe is leading the ACC in scoring," said Broadnax, a 6-foot-3 junior swingman. "It's going to be a big challenge for me to stop him."

No one else has this year. Coming into tomorrow's game here, Monroe, a 6-3 senior who torched Duke for 35 points in Wednesday's 95-89 win, is averaging a gaudy 28.8 points, and has scored no fewer than 21 in any of his 14 games this season, notching at least 25 in all but two.

In addition, Monroe, a graduate of St. Maria Goretti in Hagerstown and The Evening Sun Player of the Year in 1987, is just 191 points away from toppling David Thompson's school record of 2,309 points scored in a Wolfpack uniform, though Thompson accumulated his points over a three-year varsity career.

Monroe would need to average 39 points his last 12 regular-season games to catch Dickie Hemric's all-time ACC mark of 2,587 over four years at Wake Forest in the 1950s. His chances are better for supplanting Duke's Mike Gminski (2,323 points) for third place.

Still, Broadnax has shown no fear of the task at hand, because, like the Detroit Pistons, who have developed "the Jordan Rules" to defend Chicago's Michael Jordan, the Terps have come up with a set of rules to guard Monroe.

Namely, Broadnax wants to get up close and personal with Monroe, lean on him as much as possible, and deny him the chance to unleash his jumper.

In addition, Broadnax, who appears to be more muscular than Monroe, will want to force him to the middle of the court, where dTC he can get help, rather than letting Monroe drive the baseline.

"That's all I can do, and hope that my teammates can help me out if he gets by me," said Broadnax.

"Part of stopping Monroe is obviously to make him work for his shots," said Maryland coach Gary Williams. "He's going to get his points, but you hope that maybe you can tire him out by making him work to get them.

"You do it with your team. You don't do it with one guy because there's times in transition when somebody else has to take him. You hope you get good help when Vince is on him and you get good team defense. That's all you can do."

Kevin McLinton, who will have his hands full with Monroe's backcourt mate, the ACC's all-time assist and steals leader Chris Corchiani, has no doubts that Broadnax can do the job. "Vince Broadnax is a very good defensive player," said McLinton. "He's proven that over the years. I have confidence in him, the team has confidence in him."

In last year's game at College Park, a 96-95 Maryland win, Monroe started slowly, but caught fire in the second half, ending with 33 points. Broadnax and fellow swingman Jesse Martin, who is sitting out this year to concentrate on his grades, continually bodied Monroe to confound and harass him.

"I like to try to frustrate my opponent and get him out of his game," said Broadnax.

But, in the back of his mind, Broadnax still can't help but wonder what would happen if Monroe gets in a groove where everything he throws up finds the nets.

"I'd feel terrible if he scores 50 against me," Broadnax said with a laugh. "That's the last thing that I want to have happen. I'd foul out before he scores 50.

"But he can score all he wants as long as we win the game."

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