AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - The National Basketball Association announced today that Detroit Pistons players Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight have been selected for the 2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge to be held on Friday, Feb. 24, in Orlando during NBA All-Star 2012.
Monroe is one of three Pistons' players to appear in all 26 games this season, averaging team-highs in points (16.3 ppg) and rebounds (9.9 rpg) in 32.9 minutes per game. Among NBA leaders he ranks 11th in field goal percentage (second among NBA sophomores and third among NBA Eastern Conference centers), 13th in rebounds (third among NBA sophomores and T-3rd among NBA Eastern Conference centers) and 31st in scoring (second among NBA sophomores and NBA Eastern Conference centers). His 10 double-doubles during the month of January were the most for a Pistons player during that month since Bill Laimbeer recorded 14 during the 1986-87 season and Dennis Rodman tallied 11 during the 1991-92 season. Monroe was a member of the Rookie Team during last year's event at NBA All-Star 2011 in Los Angeles where the Rookies won for the second consecutive year, 148-140.
Knight has appeared in 26 games (20 starts), averaging 12.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 32.0 minutes per game. Amongst NBA rookie leaders the 6-foot-3 guard ranks second in scoring and minutes played, third in field goal percentage (.405), fourth in assists, T-6th in three-point field goal percentage (.352), ninth in steals (0.69 spg) and 10th in rebounds. His 38 three-point field goals made ranks first amongst current NBA rookies and second-most among rookies in Pistons franchise history (Lindsey Hunter - 69).
If you haven't been paying attention, the Rookie-Sophomore game has a new twist, with rosters being drafted by Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal from a pool of first- and second-year players. The draft takes place on Feb. 16, and the game itself will be played on Feb. 24. SB Nation NBA has the full pool of players that will be joining Monroe and Knight.