Saturday, August 27, 2011

Drummond to UConn - Does That Make Them Title Contenders?

via Twitter
The news that Andre Drummond committed to UConn as a member of the 2011 class spread like a wildfire last night on Twitter. Drummond, a five-star 6’11” center, was planning on doing a post-grad year and being in the recruiting class of 2012. This seemingly random/shocking commitment, broken by himself via Twitter, led to an uproar of “experts” claiming that the Huskies were now title contenders.

Drummond will team up with Alex Oriakhi to form one of the better big man combinations in the country. Shabazz Napier, Jeremy Lamb and Roscoe Smith will likely be the starting lineup for Jim Calhoun’s squad. Add in freshmen DeAndre Daniels and Ryan Boatwright also and it’s clear they will be a very good team.

But let’s leave it to other writers and “experts” to over-blow this story:

PeteThamelNYT - The announcement by @AndreDrummond03 exponentially increases UConn's national title chances. Blockbuster college hoops news.

Really, Pete? Getting a commitment from a five-star player increases Uconn’s title chances? I thought it’d decrease them, so thanks for clarifying.

JonRothstein - UCONN stocked with talent like they were in 2004 or 2006. The Huskies are LOADED --- and are now the team to beat in the Big East.

Really, Jon? The Huskies have no one on their roster who has averaged over 11 points per game. But their more talented than the 2004 team that produced four first round NBA Draft picks? Hmm.


Let’s keep in mind that Kemba Walker no longer sports a Husky jersey. Not only will his scoring and play making need to be made up for, but so will his intangibles. Walker was an exceptional leader. Without him in the fold, UConn will rely on Lamb, Napier and Drummond to put points on the board. But freshman bigs in the Big East are typically inconsistent and underwhelming.

Since 2006, only six Big East freshman 6’8” or taller have averaged over 8 points and 6 rebounds. Even though Drummond isn’t your typical freshman, the odds are against him being dominant in the rugged Big East.

“He’s a special talent, his addition is a major one for UConn and will certainly impact college basketball,” Alex Schwartz of Northstar Basketball said, “I just don’t know that it put UConn at the same level as UK and UNC.”

So, yes, Drummond will help UConn. But does this suddenly put the Huskies up there with UK and UNC as title contenders? No.

So listen to your parents and don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.

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