All it took was a single Twitter message to rock the college basketball landscape on Friday.
Prep standout Andre Drummond will be in a Connecticut Huskies uniform for the 2011-12 season. The 6-foot-11, 275-pound five-star center tweeted that he had reconsidered his current situation and would, in fact, play for coach Jim Calhoun and the reigning national champions next season.
“It’s official I’m heading to the university of connecticut to be a husky this year! Do I hear repeat.”
Already a high school graduate, Drummond was considered one of the premier recruits in the 2012 recruiting class.
[Watch: Andre Drummond dunks on a defender after missed free throw]
While he was academically clear to join a Division I program, Drummond did not appear to be all that interested in going to college this year or at all, for that matter. He had turned down overtures from Connecticut for most of the summer and appeared destined to spend next season at the college prep school, Wilbraham & Monson Academy.
Instead, Drummond reversed course on Friday and will not only play college basketball next season, but he will do it with one of the premier programs in the country.
It is a huge pickup for the Huskies and, potentially, for the 2012 NBA Draft, with Drummond already being talked about as a possible No.1 overall draft pick.
Talent-wise, Drummond has elicited comparisons to a young Shawn Kemp and Dwight Howard. He possesses outstanding footwork and soft touch around the basket for a player his age and has already separated himself from the pack when it comes to elite high school big men.
In Connecticut, the prep standout finds himself in an excellent position. Despite the loss of point guard Kemba Walker, the Huskies return a bevy of core players next season including Shabazz Napier and Jeremy Lamb in the backcourt and Alex Oriakhi in the frontcourt.
[Watch: Andre Drummond official HS Sr. 2011 mixtape]
Drummond will be an invaluable asset for Coach Calhoun and the Huskies next season; but it appears, at least for now, that he will not be tasked with leading the team and having to do too much, too early, a situation that often leads to disaster when it comes to high-profile freshman.
From a draft standpoint, the decision for Drummond to attend Connecticut instead of Wilbraham & Monson Academy is practically a no-brainer. While Drummond could have shielded himself from criticism by spending a season dominating the prep circuits, he will have a better opportunity to test and develop his skill set with one of the premier college basketball programs in the country and, at the very least, benefit from going up against Oriakhi during practice.
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© 2011 Neal J. Leitereg — All Rights Reserved