By Jon Rothstein
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Andre Drummond is a 7-foot mystery.
Look at him once quickly and he’ll physically resemble Dwight Howard.
Watch him play in a full court game for 30 minutes and you’ll wonder why he doesn’t allow himself to be more consistent on both ends of the floor.
He’s a tantalizing prospect that draws different reviews depending on who you talk to entering next week’s NBA Draft. But if you ask UConn coach Jim Calhoun, he’ll tell you Drummond should be next in line to be drafted after the New Orleans Hornets select Kentucky’s Anthony Davis with the first overall pick.
“There’s no question that Anthony Davis is an incredible talent and is going to be an incredible NBA player,” Calhoun said last week. “But after him, Andre (Drummond) is the second most likely player in this draft to have a terrific NBA career. He’s a great kid that has unbelievable ability.”
Drummond, who is in the pack of players after Davis that could be drafted anywhere between two and six, averaged 10 points and 7.6 rebounds as a freshman last season for UConn. He brings the legitimate size of an NBA center at 275 pounds — but just needs to learn how to use it.
“People need to remember he’s only 18 years old,” Calhoun said of Drummond. “He’s an easy going kid but he’s still developing on and off the floor. He needs to understand that this is a profession.”
Drummond’s lack of maturity was thought to be an initial concern when the draft process started but his staggering physical attributes have immediately made an impression among NBA executives. According to sources with knowledge of the situation, Drummond could go as high to fourth overall to Cleveland, and likely won’t fall past Portland at number six.
While he isn’t expected to be a factor in an NBA rotation for the next season or two, Drummond could wind up like Clippers center Deandre Jordan, a big man who needed multiple seasons of learning before becoming a tangible contributor on a nightly basis.
Still, anyone who watches the 7-footer work out is likely to get a glimpse of his potential ceiling.
“He’s does things in practice that you would never expect a player his size to do,” Calhoun said in regards to Drummond. “He’s an improving player who got better last season. He just needs time.”
How high do you think Drummond will go? Be heard in the comments below…