Friday, April 13, 2012

Will Lamb and Drummond make it in the NBA?

It isn’t a surprise that Andre Drummond is following Jeremy Lamb’s decision to enter the NBA draft. They are both lottery picks in most NBA mock drafts and returning to UConn wouldn’t raise their stocks much more, especially with UConn’s post-season suspensions. Both Lamb and Drummond still are works in progress and while both have shown NBA qualities, it is on potential alone that they are projected as high as they are.

Lamb hasn’t grown into his body yet and still could add thirty pounds to his frame without detrimenting his athleticism or his speed. He already possesses a mid-ranged game that most NBA players don’t have. He has one of the best floaters in the college game and has a streaky but effective outside shot. One of his major issues that he will have to deal with is his dribble drive. He is awkward when creating off the dribble and that will only be magnified at the next level. He also needs to be able to use his length better on defense. He rarely got blocks or bothered jumpers and needs to work harder there. He will be successful if he takes a majority of his shots off of screens and going right into his shot.

There is a lot of talk about the risk that drafting Drummond creates, but he has the greatest potential out of UConn’s two prospects. The college game favors back courts with zone defenses, closer three point lines, and spacing. The NBA will allow Drummond better opportunities in the post to showcase his skills. He has shown the ability and will to rebound and block shots that will translate at the next level. He also has an athleticism that is power forward like but in a center's body. He needs to work on his free throw shooting that if doesn’t improve will be a liability late in ballgames and he is extremely limited in his range which is five feet and in, but his above the rim game is off the charts.

It is truly a mystery as to the ceiling of these two UConn prospects, but the potential is tantalizing enough for teams to take that risk. They don’t want to lose out on a potential superstar. While Drummond will be able to find a role because athletic big men are a premium in the league, Lamb will have a harder time adjusting and finding his niche, but if they get drafted in the first fifteen slots then they made the right decision and no UConn fan should hold it against them. But these two players can either be a Hasheem Thabeet or a Ray Allen.

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