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Cabrini's renaissance big man

Cabrini center Tyheim Monroe is much more than a rebounder, and he has had to be this season after the Cavaliers lost a key guard to season-ending injury.
Cabrini athletics photo

 

Cabrini center Tyheim Monroe keeps getting better. As a sophomore, he averaged 18.4 points and a Division III-leading 15.3 rebounds per game. In his junior season, he scored 21.8 points per game and once again led the nation in rebounding, this time with 15.8 boards per contest.

Now, as a senior, Monroe is averaging 23.1 points and 18 rebounds per game. For the third straight year, he is Division III’s best rebounder.

He does a bit of everything. With senior guard DeVahnte Moseley out for the season with a torn ACL, the Cavaliers have needed Monroe not just to score and rebound but also to facilitate their offense. He has done that, leading Cabrini to a 5-2 start (2-1 CSAC).

“We’re playing through him much more this year than we have in the past,” head coach Tim McDonald said. “A lot of teams are double-teaming him now, so his vision and willingness to pass the ball is something that’s really helped us as a team as well.”

His ball-handling has also helped, especially in transition and press breaks, McDonald said. “He’s basically our center, but as most teams know, he can get us into our offense and run the point guard as well.”

Monroe was a guard in high school, and that experience shows in his post play, McDonald said. “He’s at his best in the post when he catches down there and faces up on guys, especially bigger guys, because it’s a tough matchup for them to have to guard him with his mobility.”

Monroe has also improved his more traditional post moves this season. “He just backs guys in now and then just has learned to be able to finish over both shoulders,” McDonald said. “And then again, he can still handle the ball and see the floor, so when teams do send an extra guy at him, he’s able to get the ball back out and keep the ball moving in our offense.”

As versatile a player as Monroe is, his rebounding still stands out. On Dec. 6, he became the CSAC’s all-time leading rebounder in an 80-70 win at Cairn. His final board in that game gave him 1,157 rebounds for his career, breaking the previous record.

Monroe finished that game with 20 rebounds. He has now grabbed 1,179 in his career, in addition to scoring 1,568 points. He has had a double-double in all six of Cabrini’s games this season and in all but two games of his career. In the Cavaliers’ most recent game, a 103-92 overtime loss at Gwynedd Mercy, he had 27 points and 22 rebounds.

Monroe embraces his many roles.

“Being a guard and post player is a fixture of my game,” he said.

Where there's a Will 

As a junior last season, Gwynedd Mercy forward Will Davis did not make much of an impact. He appeared in 17 games, with no starts, and averaged just 4.7 points in 8.4 minutes per contest.

But with forwards Cedric Elleby and Arron Goodman graduating this past spring, head coach John Baron knew that Davis would contribute more this year.

“We expected him to be our best big kid and arguably our best player,” Baron said.

He has been just that, leading Gwynedd Mercy (6-1, 3-0 CSAC) with 17.7 points per game. In the Griffins’ 103-92 overtime win against Cabrini on Saturday, Davis scored a career-high 29 points. He made 12 of 20 field goals, including two of four three-pointers.

“They couldn’t stop him,” Baron said. “He’s versatile. He can hit threes at the top of the court, he’s got good post moves to get a guy up in the air and get and-ones and some fouls on the defender. And because you’re a versatile player, it’s hard to guard, no doubt.”

Davis is so effective in part because he lost about 50 pounds in the offseason, Baron said. He is now listed at 6-foot-7 and 235 pounds.

Though Davis did little offensively last year, his scoring ability is not new. As a sophomore at Manor, a junior college, he averaged 24.4 points per game. In one contest, he made 20 of 25 field goals and finished with 43 points.

“He just got rolling,” Manor head coach Diallo Daniels said. “Once he gets rolling like that, he’s just tough to stop.”

[Click here to read full column]


Columnist

Sarah Sommer

Sarah Sommer is a freelance journalist in New York City. She began writing for D3hoops.com in March 2015, when she covered the women's NCAA Tournament. She is excited to continue covering Division III basketball as the Atlantic columnist.
2011-2015 columns: See Around the Atlantic/Mid-Atlantic

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