PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Despite being projected as a lottery pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, UConn freshman Andre Drummond said he plans to return for his sophomore season.
“As of right now, I know I’ll be back,” he told SNY.tv exclusively following No. 8 UConn’s 67-60 loss to Rutgers Saturday. “That’s all I could tell you, I’ll be back.”
Even if you’re a Top 5 pick?
“Yeah, I’ll be back,” added the 6-foot-11 Drummond, who tallied 10 points, 12 rebounds, seven turnovers, two blocks and one highlight-reel dunk in which he took off eight feet from the basket and flushed it.
Eight NBA scouts were at the game, including Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and Charlotte Bobcats GM Rich Cho.
Still, Drummond said he wants to continue to develop under head coach Jim Calhoun, who has produced a long line of NBA big men, from Emeka Okafor to Jeff Adrien.
“Playing under Jim Calhoun’s wing, it’s going to be great,” Drummond said. “I’m trying to be here just to be a great basketball player and get better as a person and he’s the guy to do it.”
Drummond could, of course, change his mind after the season ends but for now he says he won’t.
“No, I’m just going,” he said. “I’m just playing my basketball right now. I’m not really thinking about the future. I’m just trying to win a national championship and a Big East championship.”
Drummond is playing this year as a walk-on after Michael Bradley offered to give him his scholarship once Drummond joined the team in August.
My comment: At this point in the season talk is cheap. Just a little surprised he would go and say this.
neg me all you want now. but in a few years come back to me. he is the most overhyped big man EVER! i want him to suceed, i wish he does, but i dont see him panning out to some of the comparisons you guys give. him. sorry. not a hater, just saying ehat i feel.
og but about the post. thats good for him. probably the right decision in the end.
Not really that surprised to be honest with you. This is a guy that almost stayed in prep school for an extra year before deciding on UConn. He isn't anywhere close to a finished product but unlike many top prospects he seems to realize this. Who knows he might even get a scholarship next year!
Uconn must pay pretty good. Someone might want to ask Kahlid El Amin or Richard Hamilton how they were able to afford the vehicles they drove during their college years at Connecticut considering the means that their families were able to provide.
I don't believe him for a second that he is returning
If he is still projected as the #1 pick at the end of the year, I highly doubt he stays.
Heard seen players say stuff like this all the time, then enter the draft.
UCONN doesn't put out one and dones. No surprise here. Check the facts, they get their players to come in and give atleast 2 years.
You can say he's overhyped or he's not good or whatever you want but this one of the main reasons he is deemed to be the #1 pick!
That's SICK for someone his size.
thats sick for any size bro.
Ha, I remember Tristan Thompson saying that he stay for his sophomore year, guess where is he now ... Its not like those youngsters are lying or smth they just say what they think at that moment, we cant expect anything other from a 18 year old boy, damn, you can be 40 years and still not know what are you saying.
I've seen alot of top prospects say they're coming back,hoping the press will stop asking them about rather or not they're returning...But they'll keep hearing this question all the way up until the deadline to enter..
But i heard word out of Drummond's camp last season that he might challenge the nba's early Entry rule...
Steven how is Drummond overhyped. The kid is an amazing talent at Center that the NBA has not seen for the last decade. He can effect every part of the game, he is 6'11 and 260 at 18 years old and has a soft 260 pounds. It is just his natural build. When he starts turning that 260 into a cut mold like Dwight, Bynum, or Oden...damn! Hope he puts the right muscles in the right places as not to avoid injury, hats what Oden never did. Anyways...
Everyone is actinglike Drummond is underperforming right now. WTF did you expect? Your the one who overrated him, and overhype him. Realisticly he is doing amazing right now as far as progress goes.
10-ppg, 6.8-rpg, 0.8-spg, 2.6-bpg, 1.3 topg, 2.1 pfpg, and 61% fg's. He is a freshman Center in the Big East putting up those numbers which is actually very good..
Remember Fab Melo's freshman year and what the Big East did to his production. Big time learning curve. Drummond is going through one right now and excelling. Melo has been getting praise for his good play lately and is now on the court 23-mpg about the same as Drummond is his rookie year. Melo is playing well with 6.8-ppg, 5.5-rpg, 0.4-spg, 2.9-bpg, 1.4-topg, and 2.6-pfpg.
Why does melo get praise yet Drummond doesnt?
Anyways Drummond IS a special player, who IS doing special things, and IS going to be a superstar. He may not have all the charisma, confidence, and agressiveness rght now but the kid knows what he has to do and is willing to stay and put in the work....as of rght now. Ill never trust an athletes word again after what happened to Tristan Thompson.
Oh yah and Im not going to call him "the Natural".
I mentioned this in another Drummond thread, but I think Calhoun undercoaches his star recruits as freshmen so they remain raw and they'll stick around longer, giving him a talented and experienced squad down the road. He only seems to get in the face of his complementary players.
I actually think he will stay because at 6'11" with his athleticism, he could be like Tim Duncan and be a 1st rounder whenever he comes out. Tim waited like 3 years but I think Drummond will at least wait one more year. It will be better playing than coming off the bench or going to some terrible team. He may change his mind if the team he likes gets the number one pick because this lockout year will cause some decent teams to be lower than normal.
I agree with WizKid in a way..Besides Okafor,Calhoun has never had a big man with Drummond's talent....Most of his big men were projects who he turned into nba caliber players...
Melo doesn't get praise because he sucks.
7 and 5.5 for a Mickey D's All-American in his 2nd year is seriously weaksauce.
Drummond has disappointed at times this year (mainly with regard to assertiveness, something that plagues many freshmen) but he has seemed to turn the corner a bit.
"As of right now..."
Not that I have any issue with him staying for his sophomore year, but this kid is a top 3 lock whenever he comes out. Think whatever you will, he is a rare physical specimen with elite athleticism. Say what you will about how hard he plays and his "motor", but I think he is a good kid that wants to get better.
He is slightly raw, but he definitely has talent and I believe he would make a tremendous improvement if he were to be around next year. Remember, he came in late and did not have the summer to play with the team and develop real chemistry.
Still, he shows flashes of dominance and at the very least will be a solid big man who will be very difficult to box out and will be able to physically compete in the trenches. Not to mention, not to many people his size with his athleticism.
As far as him claiming he will come back, I have heard many other people say this and have it not necessarily be true. They probably get asked the question about going to the NBA so much that they get tired of hearing it. He is playing college basketball right now, his team just lost two games in a row and I believe he wants to focus on what he is doing now and worry about the next level some other time.
One thing is for sure though, when the draft deadline rolls around, I would not be surprised to see Drummond reconsider. Remember Tristan Thompson? When people were saying that Aran had said the wrong Tristan Thompson was entering the draft early entry? Because Texas Tristan Thompson said he was going back to school? Well, Andre Drummond is probably going anywhere 1-3, so I am sure he will have some things to talk over after the season is done.
As Mikey and Sheltwon both very astutely point out, Andre is virtually certain to be a top 3 pick whenever he declares so maybe he feels another year under Coach Calhoun will be beneficial to him. Decisions aren't made about when players declare in January so I'll keep an open mind on Drummond.
I'll be interested to see if Aran moves him into the 2013 mock draft next time he updates.
On a lighter note maybe Drummond does not want to run the risk of having Andre Blatche as a team mate next season?
But I am banking on Andre staying in the 2012 Mock.