They used to call it one of the best draft classes of the last 25 years. Now, it’s looking more and more like Anthony Davis… and then everybody else. Still, on June 28, the 2012 NBA Draft will bring hope, and hopefully new talent to some teams that desperately need it.
As we do every year, Dime will be holding you down with Mock Drafts, player interviews and diaries (you should check out Dion Waiters‘ draft diary), and we will also be bringing you draft profiles for every potential prospect deemed worthy. With this year’s crop of talent, that list is long. Our last profile was on University of Connecticut’s sophomore Jeremy Lamb. This week’s profile is on University of Connecticut’s freshman center Andre Drummond.
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Best Case: Andrew Bynum
Worst Case: Stromile Swift
Final Comparison: DeAndre Jordan
(on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being overseas talent and 10 being NBA Rookie of the Year)
Andre Drummond is a world-class athlete. He has an elite body type at 6-11 and 275 pounds. Drummond runs the floor like a guard and can jump out of the gym. The rare part about Drummond is that he has the size to play the center position and the athleticism to guard power forwards. While he will undoubtedly play center in the NBA, from a defensive standpoint Drummond’s athleticism is highly intriguing.
Drummond has virtually no skills that will translate to the NBA game at this point. He has no post-up game and scored a vast majority of his points on cuts to the basket that were set up by his teammates. His touch around the hoop is not great although he showed signs of being able to hit a baseline fadeaway jumper. That is not the most consistent or desirable shot for Drummond to be taking, but it did show a sign of being able to develop a touch. His free throw shooting numbers (29.5 percent) were reminiscent of Shaquille O’Neal in his LSU days (although Shaq shot 61 percent, which was not nearly as bad as Drummond). At this point, Drummond’s skills are like a big ball of play-doh that has not been taken out of the jar yet; it is not yet formed.
[RELATED: Dime NBA Mock Draft 1.0]
Offensively, Drummond is not ready to contribute. Quite honestly he is probably not ready to contribute defensively either. As the season progressed, however, Drummond’s defense improved drastically. He stopped jumping at everything in the lane and stayed in a defensive stance at all times. His post-up defensive numbers were excellent. He only allowed 0.442 points per possession in the post, according to SynergySports.com. That is in the 96th percentile in the NCAA for post defense. It will take a while for Drummond to adjust to NBA team defense. He struggled mightily defending the pick-n-roll, which is surprising considering his great foot speed. He looked incredibly lost on defense for a majority of the season and NBA defenses are much more complex than college defenses.
Drummond’s potential is undeniable. While he had a terrible freshman year at UConn, the sample size of games was not big enough to come to any conclusions. It is hard to get around the fact that he has a body type that just does not come around every year. Every team needs a big, athletic player to stand in the middle of the lane. NBA teams are confident in their ability to develop players and even though Drummond is not good at basketball at the moment, there is no doubt that he could be molded into an NBA starter in the right situation.
One of the biggest unattractive parts about Andre Drummond is that he is too nice. That seems counterintuitive, right? NBA teams would much rather have a ferocious and overly aggressive big man than a soft one. Drummond is soft in every essence of the word and he needs to develop a mean streak. Whether a change in character is possible is debatable. Another problem with Drummond is that he does not work hard. He is very lazy and this comes from having been able to dominate the high school basketball scene so easily given his unfair athletic and size advantage.
Combined score: 31 out of 50
There is not a lot to like about Drummond at the moment. He is a lazy player with an extremely low basketball I.Q. If he lands on the right NBA team that can help him mature and learn the value of a good work ethic, Drummond could be a dominant big man in this league for many years. But that is something that will require a great deal of luck. He is only 18 years old so there is still hope.
Best fit: Detroit Pistons
Size is an issue for Detroit. Shoot, good size is an issue for the entire league. Every team wants a serviceable big man and they are hard to find. Greg Monroe struggled defensively on defense at the center position for Detroit and is more of a natural fit for the power forward position. Drummond could move him over at times. The Pistons are also a great situation considering they are not a team that is in any rush to win. At this moment in time, they are focused on developing their young talent in Monroe, Brandon Knight, Austin Daye, and Jonas Jerebko. Landing on the right team is everything for Drummond and in this year’s lottery, Detroit would be the best fit.
“I see his situation at UConn similar to that of Jrue Holiday‘s at UCLA. Holiday had a bad freshman year too but he turned out to be a pretty good pro, didn’t he? I still think Drummond should have came back for one more year because he had a chance to be the first pick in the 2013 NBA Draft with some fine tuning to his game.” – An anonymous, lifetime UConn fan.
What will Drummond become in the NBA?
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