Zagoria Column: Should Andre Drummond Come Out After One Year?

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By Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog

Everything is all set up for Andre Drummond to be one-and-done at the University of Connecticut.

The 6-foot-11, 277-pound center was named the Big East Preseason Rookie of the Year.

He has been named to the Wayman Tisdale Award Preseason Watch List for the nation’s top freshman.

And he is projected as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com.

But just because Drummond can go as a lottery pick in next year’s draft, does that mean he should?

“He has transcendent athletic ability and I know the NBA drafts, if there is an NBA, they draft on potential,” longtime New York recruiting expert Tom Konchalski said. “But I don’t know if he’s going to be ready after one year to go to the NBA and be a factor. I think he’s going to do himself a disservice if he comes out after one year.

“He probably would get drafted as a high lottery pick, but I think he’d do himself a disservice.”

By now, Drummond’s back story is familiar.

The Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year last season, Drummond averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds a game while leading St. Thomas More (Conn.) to a 30-7 record and a National Prep School Tournament championship.

Over the summer he announced he was switching addresses and would spend one more year in prep school — at Wilbraham & Monson in Massachusetts.

But shortly after his close friend, point guard Kris Dunn, committed to Providence for 2012 and announced he would not be at Wilbraham & Monson this upcoming season, Drummond changed course yet again and announced he would head straight to UConn.

Huskies coach Jim Calhoun, coming off his third NCAA championship since 1999, compares Drummond to former UConn star Emeka Okafor.

“Right now he’s a tremendous, tremendous athlete who’s working every day to become a tremendous, tremendous player,” Calhoun said.

Konchalski compared Drummond to a young Shawn Kemp.

“He runs the floor as well as any 6-10 you’ll find on any level,” he said. “He has terrific athletic ability.”

Sure, Drummond’s ceiling is very high, but there are aspects of his game he must address.

“Well, his potential is unlimited,” UConn assistant Glen Miller said. “He’s just immensely talented. Right now we’re working a lot with him on his footwork and his ball positioning with his shot and definitely on his foul shooting.”

Oh, yes, his foul shooting.

That’s an issue.

“He makes Shaquille O’Neal and Wilt Chamberlain look like Rick Barry, Bill Sharman and Calvin Murphy,” Konchalski said.

Drummond also needs to develop a back-to-the-basket game. He is virtually complete lacking in that area right now.

“His best offensive skill right now is probably his passing,” Konchalski said. “He has no back-to-basket game whatsoever. When he catches the ball in stride and shoots off the catch, he has a decent 10- to 12- foot jump shot.

“He has not yet reached basketball puberty. He doesn’t know how to play.”

It remains unclear how next year’s NBA Draft will unfold if there is no NBA season this year.

How will they determine in which order teams pick? Who gets the No. 1 overall pick?

Will there even be a draft?

If there is, Drummond will be a factor.

Adam Zagoria of Zags Blog covers the future stars of the NBA for SheridanHoops.com. His column appears every Saturday.

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  1. So why would we argue that Drummond should stay in college and learn to play against inferior talent when he could get paid to play against professionals.

    Even if he’s a raw player now, the less time he spends wasting his earning potential in college, the better for him.

    You’ve got to be able to argue that spending time in college will prepare him more for the NBA than playing in the NBA and that it’ll earn him more money than a year’s worth of salary. Unless it’s the difference between him getting a good second contract and not, there’s no reason to screw around any longer than absolutely necessary making money for the NCAA.

    • Hang on, I meant to qualify all that with an “assuming there’s a season next year.”

      Stupid possible two-year lockout…

  2. The nba has become such a young mans game. I can see Drummund being a top three pick in the next NBA draft … no question. This year, there are many talented freshman entering the NCAA . I can see as many as ten ( if not more ) first year players taking the one and done route. The NBA can use an infusion of talent to give hope to their non playoff teams ( to market these young new stars) at the exspence of college basketball. I wisk they would implement a three year college rule before entering the draft…. however, I do not think that will ever happen.

  3. Buddahfan says:

    The guy to watch closely in men’s NCAA Hoops in 2011-12 is Adonis Thomas with Memphis. He is still a bit under the radar so we shall see. Draft Express doesn’t even list him in their 2012 Draft group. Rivals currently has him ranked #17 nationally in the class of 2011.

    http://rivals.yahoo.com/basketballrecruiting/basketball/recruiting/player-Adonis-Thomas-86933

    Tiger freshman Adonis Thomas showcases skills as annual Bluff City Classic tips off

    By Marlon W. Morgan
    Posted June 16, 2011 at midnight

    more on link

    http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2011/jun/16/summer-fun/

    He is a more academically orientated than most college basketball players so he could stay at Memphis for more than one season.

    I for one will be watching as many Memphis men’s basketball games as I can in 2011-12

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Sheridan Hoops: “He runs the floor as well as any 6-10 you’ll find on any level,” (New York recruiting expert Tom Konchalski) said. “He has terrific athletic ability.” [...]

  2. [...] Sheridan Hoops: “He runs the floor as well as any 6-10 you’ll find on any level,” (New York recruiting expert Tom Konchalski) said. “He has terrific athletic ability.” [...]

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