Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
The 6-foot-11 center pulled a 180-degree turn Friday, announcing via Twitter that he will play for the defending NCAA champion Huskies this fall instead of going for a postgraduate year in high school.
“It’s official I’m heading to the university of connecticut to be a husky this year! Do I hear repeat,” Drummond said on Twitter.
The Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year last season, Drummond averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds a game while leading St. Thomas More to a 30-7 record and a National Prep School Tournament championship.
“Andre Drummond’s going to be a factor [in the Big East],” St. Thomas More coach Jere Quinn, who spoke to Drummond and his mother, Christine, for 20 minutes Friday, told SNY.tv. “First of all, the best thing about Andre Drummond, he’s a great teammate.
“He just enjoys that. He’s athletic, he’s 6-11, he’s 280, he runs and jumps and blocks shots. Are there some parts of his game that he has to work on? Yeah. But he turned 18 just a few days ago. He’s a young kid with high expectations. And I think if everybody gives him time, he has a chance to be a really, really wonderful player.”
Quinn added: “He seems ecstatic. Honestly, it’s what he’s wanted to do since the day I met him. He and I spoke about it last spring, and I just can’t be happier for him.”
Drummond joins what now is a monster class of 5-11 combo guard Ryan Boatright and 6-9 wing DeAndre Daniels,who committed late.
Drummond recently announced he would spend a postgraduate year at Wilbraham & Monson in Mass., while cutting his list to five schools, UConn, Kentucky, Louisville, Georgetown and West Virginia.
“I think Connecticut was always his dream school,” Quinn said. “But all those other colleges have such great traditions, so it’s difficult to not consider them. But he’s a Connecticut kid. He grew up probably watching Connecticut basketball.”
Quinn added: “I called the family just to congratulate him. This is what I wanted for him. He won the National Prep School championship. He was just ready to go to college. He did well in school, he had a wonderful year. I just thought it was time.”
Drummond expected to play with his close friend, point guard Kris Dunn, at Wilbraham & Monson. But Dunn announced this week he would remain at New London High School and popped for Providence.
“Possibly Kris leaving may have had some affect,” Quinn said.
Drummond is eligible for the 2012 NBA Draft, and could now head to the NBA after one season in college, depending on how the new collective bargaining agreement takes shape.
UConn forward Alex Oriakhi tweeted “my Boi (Drummond) is a husky!! Let’s go congrats boy.”
UConn has only 10 scholarships for the 2011-12 season, and will have to “adjust” their roster to make room for Drummond.
**Andre Drummond to the NBA Draft?
**Andre Drummond won’t be in college this fall**Drummond may not return to St. Thomas More**Drummond cuts list, switches schools
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
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.