Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Andre Drummond narrows it to five
By Adam Finkelstein
Andre Drummond, the ESPNU 100 No. 2 overall player in the class of 2012, has been quiet about his recruitment until Wednesday, when the 6-foot-10 center announced Connecticut, Kentucky, Louisville, Georgetown or West Virginia would be his Division I landing spot.
"I have great respect for those coaching staffs," Drummond said. "They all have a chance to compete for a national championship, and they are committed to preparing their players for the next level."
Ultimately, Drummond's silence turned out to be a well executed plan to secure a shred of privacy in a recruiting world that is saturated by the immediate satisfaction provided by the Internet and social media.
"I just wanted to focus on academics and basketball," Drummond, ranked the nation's No. 1 center in the ESPNU 100, said. "It's been crazy, the amount of rumors that have been floating around lately, but I just try to ignore it and stay focused on what's important."
Drummond first exploded onto the national scene more than two years ago with a commanding performance at the AAU nationals.
Since then, he's drawn frequent comparisons to NBA stars Dwight Howard and Amare Stoudemire, brought home a gold medal for representing his country and led his prep school team to a national championship.
In June, the Middletown, Conn., product graduated from St. Thomas More. Now he will move on to his post-graduate year as planned, at Wilbraham & Monson Academy in Massachusetts in September.
The move, while keeping him close to his hometown, also will allow him to play with AAU teammate and close friend Kris Dunn (New London, Conn./Wilbraham & Monson), who will be transferring from New London High School for his senior season.
Although some have theorized that by remaining in the class of 2012, Drummond is essentially stating his intention to go straight into next June's NBA draft, the big man said that is far from a foregone conclusion. He would be allowed to do so because he would be one year removed from his graduating class, as required by the league's recently expired collective bargaining agreement.
"It's definitely an option but far from a done deal," Drummond said. "I'm open, but I'm not going to be making any decisions before spring 2012 either way. I don't think I'll have too much to say about it until then. Most people have been really great about respecting my privacy throughout this process and I really appreciate that."
Adam Finkelstein has been a coach or scout at the high school, college and pro levels. He was an assistant coach in Division I by the age of 24 and also worked as a scout for Marty Blake, the NBA's director of scouting.