Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mr. Drummond

Maybe you've heard the news already: in between a pair of natural disasters (earthquake and hurricane), UConn got some earth-shaking news when Andre Drummond announced, via Twitter, that he has committed to the Huskies.

Here's the story from today's Register.

An amazing turn of events, really. While some have suggested all along that Drummond has always been in play for UConn this upcoming season, it sure seemed a long shot as classes in Storrs were set to begin in a few days. Not to mention the fact that the Huskies' scholarship allotment for this season is already used up.

Which leads us to a very intriguing question: Just how will UConn find a way to get Drummond on the team? A no-brainer, you say? Just nudge one of the current guys off the squad. Send Enosch Wolf back to Germany or tell Niels Giffey to stay over there. Tell Michael Bradley, a redshirt last year, that he'll see no playing time this season with Drummond in the fold and might as well find greener pastures elsewhere.

Nonsense. I have zero information what the Huskies plan to do (people inside the program aren't commenting even off-the-record about Drummond; information they didn't want becoming public has already leaked out). But if a player who was slated to be on the Huskies' roster this season -- indeed, a roster that's been posted on the website for a few weeks already -- suddenly leaves the program, it will be highly suspicious and, quite frankly, totally out of line.

If you made a mistake on a kid, deal with it and take the high road. If you tell him in May that his future with the program doesn't appear filled with playing time, that's one thing. But not on Aug. 27. Not even to make room for perhaps the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NBA draft.

I don't believe that will happen, however. I don't even believe it has crossed the UConn coaching staff's mind. While Drummond & Co. have been typically close-to-the-vest even about this, there are reports that the big man will pay his own way this year. As an in-state kid, his tuition would be somewhat reasonable, and he'd be eligible for student loans, as well. Stanley Robinson qualified for loans while playing as a "walk-on" a couple of years ago.

And, of course, Drummond stands to be more than ready to pay off his tuition a year from now -- provided, of course, the new NBA collective bargaining agreement doesn't up the age of eligibility. If that happens, Drummond can return for another year or two to UConn, where a scholarship will no doubt be available.

But there are no skollies available right now, and I don't want to see any mysteriously open up over the next week or two. I won't believe it was pure coincidence. Not for a moment.

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