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Sunday / February 19.

Drummond Says He Will Return for Sophomore Season

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PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Despite being projected as a lottery pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, UConn freshman Andre Drummond said he plans to return for his sophomore season.

“As of right now, I know I’ll be back,” he told exclusively following No. 8 UConn’s 67-60 loss to Rutgers Saturday. “That’s all I could tell you, I’ll be back.”

Even if you’re a Top 5 pick?

“Yeah, I’ll be back,” added the 6-foot-11 Drummond, who tallied 10 points, 12 rebounds, seven turnovers, two blocks and one highlight-reel dunk in which he took off eight feet from the basket and flushed it.

Eight NBA scouts were at the game, including Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and Charlotte Bobcats GM Rich Cho. 

Still, Drummond said he wants to continue to develop under head coach Jim Calhoun, who has produced a long line of NBA big men, from Emeka Okafor to Jeff Adrien.

“Playing under Jim Calhoun’s wing, it’s going to be great,” Drummond said. “I’m trying to be here just to be a great basketball player and get better as a person and he’s the guy to do it.”

Drummond could, of course, change his mind after the season ends but for now he says he won’t.

“No, I’m just going,” he said. “I’m just playing my basketball right now. I’m not really thinking about the future. I’m just trying to win a national championship and a Big East championship.”

Drummond is playing this year as a walk-on after Michael Bradley offered to give him his scholarship once Drummond joined the team in August.

“I was paying for school since I came,” Drummond said. “And he offered to give it to me, I told him ‘No’ but nobody ever knew about it.”

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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

  • He definitely needs work on his post moves, still. But I’m glad to see him dunk on a few guys a game until he gets a post up move down pat. He has the natural talent to be something really special.

  • Key words: “as of right now”

    Kid isn’t coming back.

  • i didnt realize you were part of his inner circle. any other insights?

  • I tend to believe that 99 percent of these kids simply say stuff they think other people want to hear, but more power to him if he’s actually telling the truth.

  • More insight for the casual college basketball fans: Top players each year say the same thing, last year was an anomaly (PJ3, H Barnes, Sully, etc) — hell Durant said he wasn’t leaving after only one season.