Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 1/12/12

When Andre Drummond chose to play for UConn this season rather than spend a year at prep school as he originally planned to do, he immediately become one of the top prospects for the 2012 NBA Draft.   Drummond has seen his share of ups and downs as a freshman, but has shown flashes of being a potential NBA franchise center.

At 6-11, 275 pounds, Drummond certainly looks the part.  He is long, athletic, strong and certainly possesses an NBA-build.  What is really scary though is that Drummond won’t turn 19 years old until August meaning his body is not even close to maturing.

His maturation as a player will ultimately decide whether Drummond becomes the next Dwight Howard or the next Kwame Brown.  Both Howard and Brown entered the league straight out of high school with similar traits and physical make-ups as Drummond.  Howard tapped into his potential becoming a force inside while Brown was a bust who is nothing more than a serviceable back-up big man.

Right now, Drummond is a rebounding, shot blocking force who runs the floor well and gets most of his buckets off putbacks, easy dunks, or bunny baskets around the hoop.  Other than that, Drummond’s game is very raw and there are several areas that need work.

He has shown a tiny resemblance of having a soft touch on short jump shots but that is certainly an area that Drummond must work on especially his low release which comes at his head.  His poor free throw percentage further solidifies his need to work on his shot.  Drummond is not a real threat catching the ball on the block and making fundamental post moves to overpower opponents either.

His feel for the game as a defender must greatly improve as well.  Drummond relies on his manchild-like size to make an impact but struggles with some of the simple defensive tasks like understanding how to defend ball screens, not getting lost when his guy is being screened, and putting a body on a body as his defensive box outs tend to be very lazy or even non-existent.

It only comes along once in a while that an 18-year old possesses the size, strength, and athleticism that Drummond does.  While he is still very raw in his all-around development, the sky is the limit for the UConn freshman which is why his name is being paired with Kentucky’s Anthony Davis and North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes as candidates to be the top overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.  It likely will take him a year or two before he is ready to be a consistent NBA contributor, but he has the tools to be the next dominant big man in the league.

Go here to see where I have Drummond in our 2012 NBA Draft.

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

 

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