Andre Drummond will reportedly make a decision Wednesday about his basketball future. Question is, will is be college related?
The prized 2012 prospect told Adam Zagoria last week that “the plan” is to return to St. Thomas More for next season. Not head to UConn or Duke or Georgetown or any of the other schools in the running for the 6-11 center.
However, his St. Thomas More coach, Jere Quinn, is skeptical. That means college right? Well, Jeff Goodman is doubtful that ever happens, mostly because Drummond’s age would allow him to enter the NBA draft after another season at prep school.
So what should Drummond do? If he listens to Mike DeCourcy, it would be college. (And also make Goodman’s gut wrong.) And here’s why.
First, there is no guarantee the age limit rule will remain as is, at 19 years and one year removed from high school graduation. Commissioner David Stern has advocated pushing that to 20 years, and it seems plausible at this point that the owners’ side will get a lot of what they want in these negotiations.
Second, there is no long-term upside to a player with Drummond’s gifts trying to skip the college step. It would only leave him at a disadvantage to those players who are college-trained once he begins competing in the league. He still would be drafted on his potential — and thus in a coveted position – but there’s no reason to believe a year of college basketball would damage his standing.
In fact, moving on to play college basketball now would be the first step toward answering one of the major criticisms about Drummond’s play: that occasionally he is too casual about competition. Choosing to dunk on high school kids for another year isn’t going to assuage any doubts in that area. Playing in the Big East or ACC would present plenty of opportunities to show he is coachable and capable.
DeCourcy’s correct in assessing Drummond’s player development and style. A season in the Big East would help in every area. Another year in prep school wouldn’t come close. He might as well play overseas rather than stay in prep school.
But if Drummond wants to play it carefully, he’ll return to St. Thomas More. A year in the Big East would help, but it also could expose flaws in his game that teams wouldn’t be willing to overlook. That wouldn’t happen in high school. (A savvy team would recognize his flaws anyway, but savvy teams aren’t usually drafting in the lottery.)
Here’s hoping to Drummond chooses a college. If it’s UConn, it’ll give the Huskies an excellent chance at pulling off back-to-back titles. If it’s anyone else, we’ll get a chance to see an immensely talented player in before he starts reaping NBA riches.
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