Andre Drummond is projected to be a top-5 pick in the NBA Draft in June.
At least one person thinks the Huskies would have been better off without Andre Drummond (see the previous post). The 6-10 specimen is now NBA bound and the news, despite Drummond's rawness, should surprise exactly no one.
The bigger question, beyond the implications for UConn's program, is this: while Drummond isn't ready to play in the NBA right now, what kind of player will he be? Because, ultimately, that's all NBA teams care about: potential. And that reality segues nicely into this quote from a scout, via the ZagsBlog.com's Adam Zagoria.
“Andre Drummond’s going 2 to 5,” the scout said. “That’s all based on potential because physically he’s probably the best physical specimen in the draft. He’s probably the most gifted guy in the draft physically, run, jump, strength, size, quickness. He’s other-worldly.”
Could Drummond be a bust? Sure. But his measurables are off the charts. And it's not like the personnel evaluators are just looking at a sheet of paper with Drummond's height, weight and vertical leap without ever seeing him play. They know what he can do, it's just a matter of a) him growing into his body (he's 18, after all), and b) coaching him up. This isn't a mystery.
“His skill level is way behind,” the NBA scout told Zagoria. “A lot of people feel he doesn’t know how to play but he’s a good kid and he’s a tremendous physical specimen. And you’re getting him a year or two early, and you have to work with him and teach him how to play.”
Whether it's wise for Drummond to leave college after one year is another debate. In a vacuum, yes, he should've stayed. But there aren't many people who'll turned down tens of millions of dollars to stay in school for any reason, even to defer the probability of even more money a year from now.
The Hartford Courant's Dom Amore gets it right when he says, "Of course, Drummond is not ready for the NBA. Based on what we saw last year, he wasn’t ready for The Big East. Anyone can see he 'could use one more season of college basketball.' He could use three more. But if an NBA team is going to draft him in the top five or six, he has to go. Why come back to college, with or without NCAA Tournament eligibility, and risk getting hurt, or having a disappointing sophomore season and perhaps slipping next year? It may make basketball sense for him to stay and improve his game, but it would make no business sense whatever."
"The NBA doesn’t look for great college players," Amore concludes, "they look for pro prospects. Andre Drummond, at this point, is one of the latter, so this was the call for him to make."