Drummond gives Pistons immediate boost
by Stephen Brotherston, Hoopsworld.com
When Andre Drummond joined the defending national champions at the University of Connecticut in 2011, expectations for the physically gifted big man were sky high. While Drummond failed to live up to the hype, his physical gifts did not diminish in college, and the Detroit Pistons selected him ninth overall in the 2012 NBA Draft.
“The past is the past,” Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. “We all have a past, so we just continue to learn and try to improve.
“Andre is a great kid. Obviously very athletic, very good feet, great size and we think he has a very bright future. Obviously, we didn’t draft him at nine and not think he didn’t have a very bright future.”
Drummond looks the part of an NBA center, which is not lost on his new teammates.
“He definitely has the tools to be a really good big man,” Pistons star Greg Monroe said. “As far as the mental part of the game, he has a ways to go, but as far as the physical skills, he is one of those guys who, any ceiling he reaches, you won’t be surprised because of the physical tools he is blessed with.”
Detroit hasn’t finished above .500 since the 2007-08 season and a youth movement finally appears to be taking root, but the Pistons follow their own ideals when it comes to player development. Detroit’s four rookies and other developing players hoping for playing time will have to earn it.
“People say development — well that means playing time,” Frank said. “To me development is always based on merit because the worst thing – you can look at it with a exception of a couple guys — guys who don’t get it based on merit, it usually doesn’t play out real well for them. Guys that get it based on merit, they understand the process. To me, whether you are young or old, it has to be based on merit.”
Even a top-10 draft pick will have to earn his playing time from Frank.
So far, Drummond’s first NBA training camp and preseason has been a success. He’s averaged 11.0 points, 5.7 … [For more on Andre Drummond gives Pistons unexpected immediate boost, click here.]