August 26, 2011
Two weeks after he announced he would be attending a Massachusetts prep school next year rather than playing college basketball, the class of 2011's top big man apparently has experienced a sudden change of heart.
The arrival of Drummond elevates UConn from a Big East contender into the forefront of the 2012 national title picture. With Jeremy Lamb, Alex Oriakhi and Shabazz Napier back from last year's championship run and newcomers Drummond, forward DeAndre Daniels and guard Ryan Boatright ready to contribute, it's difficult to envision the Huskies lower than third behind North Carolina and Kentucky in most preseason polls.
The most likely starting lineup for the Huskies would be a backcourt of Napier and Lamb and a frontcourt of Roscoe Smith, Oriakhi and Drummond. The 6-foot-10 freshman enables Oriakhi and Smith to slide down to the power forward and small forward positions and gives coach Jim Calhoun far greater roster flexibility than he would have had otherwise.
Maybe the only mystery still left regarding Drummond is how UConn will make room for him since the Huskies are short on scholarships as a result of APR and NCAA penalties. The obvious solution would be for Calhoun to send one of his bench players packing, but CBSSports.com reports that Drummond may walk on and pay his own way next year, adding to suspicion that he's likely to be one-and-done.
When Drummond announced earlier this month that he would attend prep school at little-known Wilbraham & Monson, the suspicion was that he was going somewhere with minimal competition in order to preserve his high 2012 draft stock. The risk of going to UConn next season is that he'll have to play like a lottery pick to remain one, but the for both Drummond and the Huskies, the reward could be a championship ring.