Andre Drummond impresses Pistons coaches/teammates with smarts, attitude
If you wonder what the guru who sees things others cannot sees in a player described by many as a physical wunderkind, it’s all good stuff.
“What an incredibly attentive young man,” the Pistons strength coach said of Drummond this week. “You ask him, ‘Andre, what did we talk about yesterday?’ He’ll repeat it, verbatim. He’s really taking it in, taking it home with him.
“He was here for four days. We had worked on his right leg – normal stuff, just develop a little more flexibility. He came back and I’m like, ‘Whoa, what happened? This is from A to at least somewhere in the middle of the alphabet. That’s pretty significant.’ He said, ‘Well, you told me to do it. Isn’t that what I was supposed to do?’
“I said, ‘Yes, but you did it like, really well.’ He said, ‘Well, I figured if it felt good and I was getting better at it, I should continue to do it.’ ”
Kander looks at Drummond and sees immense potential from a physical standpoint.
“Genetically gifted, body wise. What I love is the lower extremity body structure – big hips, big thighs. Kids that are big in the upper body but have smaller bases, a little more fragile. Things can go wrong. When you start off with a great foundation – like a house, you build from the basement up – he has it.”
And with Drummond’s quick mind and eagerness to improve, Kander sees the signs pointing to Drummond ultimately realizing that immense potential. Without knowing the specifics of Drummond’s situation at UConn as a freshman last season, Kander believes his underwhelming statistics – about 10 points and 7.5 rebounds a game – might have been Drummond looking to fit in.
“He’s not a selfish player,” Kander said. “He’s not going to try to get his numbers. He’s going to fit in to what he’s expected to do. I think if they’d actually told him, ‘We need 15, 18 points and nine rebounds and that’s what you’ve got to give us every night,’ I think he would have gotten that. He’ll put his energy into what you tell him you need. And that’s a great thing. To have an 18-year-old who actually does what you tell him to do? That’s all I’ve seen. Anything you tell him to do, he’ll do.”
Drummond has been working with both Kander and assistant coach Roy Rogers extensively during workouts at the team’s practice facility – Kander in the weight room and for movement and conditioning drills, Rogers for shooting drills, post footwork and moves around the basket.
First on Kander’s agenda: getting Drummond in tip-top shape.
“First thing always with a big, conditioning,” he said. “Get him in unbelievable shape to be able to run, be endurantly strong – the same mechanics, the same stride, active hands. Get good at turning. I’ll use Tim Duncan as an example, Rasheed Wallace, Ben Wallace. Whether it’s blocking shots, rebounds, posting up, turning into a step-back – all of that. To really getting equal with both sides of the body with rotation, left side, right side.”
Kander would like to see Drummond gain a little more upper-body strength, but is amazed at his overall strength given that Drummond came to the Pistons without ever having done any weight training.
“This is all natural,” he said. “So like anything, you’ve got to take your time with it. You can’t throw everything at him. His body’s got to adapt. But his learning curve is pretty high, so we’re going to take him at a pretty good pace here. This isn’t going to be a long-term thing. He’s going to be a guy who is going to advance real quick.”
In watching Drummond run, from end to end or in shorter bursts in half-court defensive settings, Kander sees things that go beyond what physical measurements and timed drills could ever tell him.
“He’s got a very elegant stride, beautiful mechanics,” Kander said. “Good running technique, head locked in. When he runs, he’s not bobbing back and forth. He’s very mechanically efficient. He stops quickly, transitions. He’s quick laterally. He doesn’t compensate or tip or lean, which a lot of bigs do. A lot of the bad habits you have to break, he hasn’t developed them. There are some things you work on when you get a little bit older, he’s right at that stage. The fact he shows that work ethic and wants to learn, the concentration and the focus on it, I see nothing but incredible upside.
“He’s got incredible lateral length. Some guys have long arms but have no lateral length. A guy might have a 7-3 wing span, but you get on the court and he’s 6-3. His testing and his movement are both good. He’s got that motor-neuron connection of when I move, I keep my length. I expand, I reach. That’s what you want to see. I hate the guys who static measure and then you watch them and they don’t use it.”
Part of Drummond’s evolution will be conditioning his mind as well as his body, Kander believes.
“I think he’s a thinker,” Kander said in assessing why Drummond might sometimes appear caught up in watching play unfold around him instead of forcing the action. “He might even be in the process of something that happened the play before, focusing on what he probably should have done. That’s just part of the developmental process, emotional maturity. Any drill we give him here, when you give him a concept, he locks in. He’s going to get a lot of different skill sets. Something happens in a game that’s different than what he learned in practice, he’s still learning to be able to stay with anything that comes at him that might work against what he’s used to learning. He’s learning to expand his reflexive field.”
Kander, like Pistons coaches who saw the way Drummond absorbed their lessons in Orlando, is eager to help him expand everything about his game.
“The things he does, you can’t teach. But he’s got to learn to expand the repertoire of the reflexes. A rebound means I’ve got to get quickly lateral and if something didn’t happen, I’m not with that anymore; I’m with the next thing that’s occurring. But 18 … he’s got so much potential.”
Seems like he is off to the right start for his career. Obviously early and has a long way to go, just good to hear he is taking a positive approach and seems very coachable. For all of the talk of his "low motor" and questioning his motivation, certainly seems to be making an effort to do more than just go through the motions.
i think he can be legit
just work ur tail off young man!!
Sounds very positive, even though Drummond slipped on draft night he's landed in a really good place.
In terms of Drummond's personality, he's very playful and a legitimate kind of person, which does invite the notion that he doesn't have enough passion for basketball, i think he's just a kind and respectful, 18 year old kid to be honest.
He's taken on the role of the team sponge and that's exactly what he needed to do, he's got a good head on his shoulders, says the right things and wants to learn. The staff are taking good care of him, if Drummond doesn't amount to anything in Detroit, i'll be amazed.
Drummond received alot of bad press,mostly becuz he failed to live up to the expectations of ''others'''..They had Crowned him as the next great center..Thats understandable in a way becuz he does have unique skills...
If you really look at it,the upcoming 2012-13 season should've been his freshman year...While at UNCONN,he had his moments,when he looked like the player many envisioned as the top pick..And there were also times when he looked lost on the court....Playing With so many shoot 1st guards on the team and coach Calhoun missing a majority of the season,also played apart in his lack of success on the floor...
I think dropping in the draft will take alot of pressure off him to paly at a unique level and gives him time to work on his game,listen and watch films of the past greats,and maybe seek advice from them..Former Pistons great Bob Lanier still hangs around the Detroit area..Lanier finished his career among the top 20 centers to play the game....
Same can be said for MKG who was even younger but he balked out. It's not even about his lack of skill as much as its his lack of going hard all the time
Good read and it sounds very positive for both the futures of Drummond and the Pistons. If he can reach his full potenial then the pistons will have a league class frontcourt with greg monroe and himself, along with other guys likes like Brandon Knight and a decent supporting cast they could reach the playoffs in a few seasons if they have the patience to stick with rebuilding.
The Pistons have definitely laid the foundation of this team so far. Knight, Monroe, and Drummond were all guys they wanted that slipped to them each year. Those three will be the cornerstones of the franchise and with a little help from supporting players and another lottery pick this upcoming year, they could really make some noise. They have improved each year even if it has only been by one position but that's a trend they should look to keep up and improve upon. Bright future ahead for them.
Really Pistons got a great pick,this is guy with biggest potential on 12 draft,if he work hard sky is the limit for this kid,hes only 18 man :)
I'll like to go out on a Limb and say Watchout for Kyle Singler..The former Duke player that got drafted in the 2nd round,and spent last season overseas....He will not come out and put up great numbers,but he wont be a slouch either...
I keep forgetting about Kyle Singler. I like that guy. With Knight and Monroe and now Andre Drummond it looks like the Pistons could be building Bad Boys 3.0. Possibly better than the (law firm of) Hamilton, Billups, Wallace, Wallace, and Prince.
I think they might be one guy away but the 2013 draft should help them out. It looks like they are set at point guard with a legit front line. I also like Jonas Jerebko as an energy big man. I think they need to go with a good high level role player/shooter/scorer at the 2 like a poor man's Joe Dumars or Rip Hamilton. What about a guy like Christian Watford?
I Thought they should have made a move for Courtney Lee in the offseason, but I think they want to see what English can do and dobn't mind being in the lottery next year. BTW, the Celtics got a steal in Lee
The kid has potential to be very good but he's just as likely to be average to Deandre Jordan
Christian Watford is a small forward that is a 2nd round prospect. Hes way too laterally slow to play the 2. He has a nice shot but limited potential id take him though he will be a solid role player in this league. Personally i like Rodney Stuckey as our shooting guard. I think with Ben Gordon gone and the starting job 100% his i expect him to have a really good season like 17 4 5 on 45% FG. We definately need to address the starting small forward position. There are a ton of SF prospects like Poythress, McAdoo, Thomas, Nash, Leslie, Mitchell, Porter and Saric. The problem with them is that none of them are 3 point shooters. Most of them are in fact tweeners. I have regained trust in Joe Dumars so ill let him decide. I also really like how our bench is looking. We have a physical big: Kratsov, Energy guy: Jerekbo, Specialist: Kim English.
As a Pistons fan I think they still need a true SG and an upgrade in the small forward position. Don't get me wrong I love Stuckey for the last season but I see him more as a combo guard/slasher. If for example they were to somehow magically land a guy like Shabazz Muhammad in the next draft they would have a solid lineup of: Knight Stuckey Shabazz Monroe and Drummond. Not saying that will happen or is even likely but if it does they would be for sure a dangerous lineup. Shabazz has a very nice jumper and Stuckey can drive hard to the hoop.
they need a good coach with the Badboys 3.0, they got larry brown on the 2.0, who demanded aggressive defense or he will benched you, and the original has Chuck daly as there coach, i think they need first a developmental coach then bring in the X.O type of coach, maybe Jerry Sloan?,
This team has no guards, only 4 on the roster and Stuckey the only one who can play though Knight is young he has potential
the thing with Drummond is that there's only 2 possible scenarios for him and 50-50 chance between them to happened: or that he will end up top 3 player from this draft or that he will be a bust!
Not really he is going to be a great defender regardless, he will not he a bust because he did not go that high.
I dont get how people say he could possibly be a bust. Hes not gonna become overweight. Trying to say injuries will plague his career is stupid. He is worse case scenario DeAndre Jordan with great post defense. I read somewhere that Andre Drummond gave up the least points per play on post ups of all nba draft prospects and of all players in the SL.
But 29% ft shooting in college is a huge concern. Hard to see him not being hacked every time he touched it down low until he drastically improve that.
I can't remeber where I read it ( which doesn't help), but it read that Andre was having trouble picking things up, which made be question his motor and IQ. But I hope the best for the young guy, he could be great. It takes more than a physical gift to make it, the sooner he matures mental and emotionally the better,eitehr way he is still a straight baller!
he could possibly be a bust because he's mentally weak and suspect, it's his big and only red flag to me, but if he could overcome this he will only be tremendous success !
I had no idea Drummonds mind and attitude functioned in this manner. I would have drafted him much higher then 9. All I ever read predraft was how his motor was hot n cold and he lacked true passion for the game. The passion part is still debatable but his intangibles make up for it. Drummond obviously thrives on being effectively told what to do. He doesn't need to LOVE the game to be great at it. Its irrelevant. It could be table tennis and he would still approach learning to be a pro the same way. There are many "diva" type players in the NBA. Players who balk at most instructions and believe its not their fault they don't succeed... its the coaches fault for not using them properly, or lack of opportunity. Drummond WANTS to be told what to do. He's put his career going forward in the coaches hands and says teach me. He doesn't have the confidence to make his own decisions, but give him a task to accomplish or goals to strive for and he'll diligently work towards that.
I feel inlight of this, Drummonds odds of maturing into a great player went up quite a few notches in my eyes. Now if he could only learn to shoot FT's.
Reading this making me sad about the garbage BC drafting Terrence Ross over Andre Drummond. Ross isn't too bad, but missing out on a potential franchise center for a potential borderline all-star is a big big mistake. Would be better off if Bargnani is traded and Valanciunas to pair up with Drummond for PF and C.
That is certainly high praise. I've had significantly lower expectations of Drummond than many on this site, including mikey, lol. That being said, maybe his head is in it and that is a good sign. I don't think he'll have a big rookie year, but he could make waves and showcase his potential. I'm standing by my DeAnrdre Jordan comparisions. It's too early to jump on the bandwagon, but Jordan also had a 20 rebound game as a rookie and some nice double doubles. I'm sure Drummond will have his share of big games, but I don't expect much consistancy.
Whether he's great or a bust, I just hope he can stay injury free. Young bigs go down so often, it's kind of depressing to see every young C, in the past 5-6 years, with major promise miss most of a full season due to injury within the first 5 years of their career.
If he sought out Bob Lannier then he would get some good advice and don't forget Ben Wallace may play on or could also act as a mentor for Drummond. If he is willing to learn as it seems then he has two of the best to teach him.
The thing that makes me feel comfortbale about Andre Drummond is that apparently his lower body is JACKED. Usually bigs that suffer injurys have chicken legs that arent muscular and cant take on all that weight but drummond has a very powerful lower body.
Since we finished playing in Summer League, I’ve spent most of my time here finding my way around and trying to find a place to live. I’ve never lived in a house before. It was a whole new thing for me to have a real estate agent and have them show you like 50 different houses before we found one we really liked. My mother, little sister and I have always lived in an apartment, so it was fun just seeing the smile on my sister’s face knowing she can have her own room now.
It’s close to The Palace, some of my teammates live around there and it’s a good living environment. It’s going to be a good place for my little sister to grow up.
She’s definitely excited to move here. Ariana did what I did – she went to a boarding school, so she’s used to being away from home. We went to the same school for a while – when I was a freshman, she was in eighth grade. I think she and my mom have found a new school for her and she’s looking forward to getting started. She plays volleyball and softball, so I went to a lot of her games throughout my college season. I just try to be her biggest supporter.
I stayed in Orlando for another week after Summer League to help my Uncle Phil coach the AAU team that I used to play for. I was just there last summer playing for his team and now I’m in the NBA. It was just good seeing some of the faces of the guys I was teammates with. We would always pick up some younger kids just to get them acclimated to the new environment and now some of those kids will be heading off to college soon. It was good to coach them – to see how much better they have gotten – and give them some of my pointers after being in college for a year. It was good to be down there with them.
I said when the Pistons drafted me that it felt like a family here in Detroit and I feel that way even more now. I’ve gotten real close to Jordan Dumars, Joe’s son, since the draft. We hang out every day and he shows me around Detroit, some of the areas where we can get food and some of the fun places I can take my mom and my little sister.
I know I’ve seen Jordan before the Pistons drafted me. I don’t know if I’d ever played against him in AAU, but he’s a real good kid. He has a good head on his shoulders. He’s one of those good people you need in your circle to help you become a better player and a person. Just hanging around with Joe and the coaching staff has also been great. I got real close with Jason Hervey, as well – he’s our new player development director. It’s really like a family now.
I’ve been working out with Arnie Kander and Roy Rogers a whole lot since I’ve been here in Detroit. Roy says don’t try to kill yourself, we’re still early, but he says he sees the fire in my eyes when I’m playing. When I’m out there, I just want to get better every single day – get better in a certain area every day and try to push myself. Roy says to relax, my time is going to come.
The thing about me is I try to do big things before I do the small stuff. Being around Arnie and Roy, they tell me the big stuff will come after you get the small stuff down first. We’ve been working on my footwork and getting my jump hook higher, getting my jump shot right. I’m now starting to see that the little things add up to help get the big things right.
Arnie is the best trainer I’ve seen my entire life and I haven’t been here even three weeks yet. He knows what he’s talking about. Some people, you ask them questions and they look stuff up, but he knows it right there and then. I came in and he had a magazine-sized stack of papers with the stuff I did wrong and some of the things I was good at. He had studied some of the games I played and he had critiqued my stride and the way I shoot my shot – how my left hand is on the ball – and he broke down my entire game and helped me out a lot, just changing my game around. He sees stuff that I wouldn’t even think about looking at. He looks at all those small things I was talking about.
I’m going to be here for the rest of the summer, just getting really acclimated to the new area, working out every day and getting close to my teammates, Kim English and Khris Middleton and all the other guys who are coming in. I worked out with Brandon yesterday, getting a feel for each other on pick and rolls and things like that. It’s been a great experience so far, from the draft and Summer League and now getting really settled here and getting to know the people and the places. It’s great to be a Detroit Piston.
I really like Drummond, I've been on board since I first saw a high school mixtape and I remained faithful throughout. His comment about doing the big things first makes a lot of sense to me; he has a lot of skills that you wouldn't expect a 7 footer to have, but not the ones he should. Doing the little things in HS would have meant dominating inside, posting up and destroying people on a regular basis, but it wouldn't have been challenging then. Hopefully Dre realises that the little things are the challenging things in the NBA.
Sounds really coachable, and it's good news for Pistons fans to see him setting down roots there. No mention of any interaction with Monroe yet, hopefully those two get along of the Pistons brass is going to have some decisions to make down the road.