Every week I’ll be speaking with Chas Wagner and Scott Wildermuth from Six Overtimes about NBA prospects from the Big East Conference. The 6OT boys talk Big East everything and each week I’ll give them my two cents highlighting potential NBA superstars and busts.
Jeremy Lamb made a name for himself in last year’s NCAA tournament as the heir apparent to Kemba Walker. Andre Drummond will be the name to remember this March. Drummond is a legitimate top pick in the NBA draft. The prototypical one-and-done player. Huge ceiling. He’s a monster at 6’11”, 275, and as he hits the weightroom, he’ll become even bigger. Still growing at 18, Drummond could be a starter in the NBA today.
I equate his game right now to Greg Oden when he was a freshman at Ohio State. Recently named the starting center after recovering from a broken nose, Drummond’s focus has been on the defensive end while his offensive game slowly develops. His averages in his first nine contests aren’t very impressive — 7 pts., 6 rbs. in just over 22 minutes of action — but his 2.8 blocks a game leads the team. (He blocked a shot early in the season against Maine that went into the fifth row. Scary good athlete). By the time tournament play rolls around, I expect consistent double doubles with multiple blocks to boot.
Looking at his NBA prospects, I compare Drummond to Amare Stoudemire. Long, agile. If Drummond ever develops a consistent mid-range jumpshot, watch out. I also can see him turning into a Dwight Howard-type player. An Athletically gifted 7-footer to anchor your defense for the next 10 years. The “Man-Child” wears number 12, just like his favorite player, Dwight Howard.
Where could he end up? Well, the Cavs will likely be lottery bound again this year and with only one talented big man on the roster (Andy Varejao), Drummond would be a perfect fit, sliding into lineup as a starting center for a team in full blown rebuilding-mode. Not a bad partnership between Drummond and rookie point guard Kyrie Irving. Add Tristan Thompson into the mix and the Cavs have a solid young nucleus to build around.