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NBA Draft 2012: Why Teams Must Gamble on UConn Big Man Andre Drummond

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NBA Draft 2012: Why Teams Must Gamble on UConn Big Man Andre Drummond
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The No. 1-ranked center on ESPN.com's Chad Ford's Big Board is a prospect set to shine in the NBA.

UConn freshman Andre Drummond is not only the best center in the 2012 NBA draft, but a talent teams must go leaps and bounds to acquire. It is his tremendous size, exceptional defensive skills and production his freshman year that make him such a promising prospect.

Entering the draft, Drummond is as athletic a big this class has to offer. He is a 6'10'' center who weighs a solid 270 pounds. His 7' 6.25'' wingspan recorded at the combine is easily the best of any player.

The athletically gifted freshman will make a major impact with his size at the next level—make no mistake about it. 

It is also integral to consider the skills that this particular player boasts defensively. Drummond's size and strength make him a prolific shot-blocker as well as a solid talent on the glass.

In his freshman year with the Huskies, Drummond rejected 2.7 shots and grabbed 7.7 rebounds per game. Time and time again, he was a major presence in the paint for the Huskies, as he repeatedly denied opposing guards clean looks in the lane.

In addition to his 2.7 blocks and 7.7 boards per contest, Drummond was able to contribute well offensively. In just over 28 minutes per game, he posted 10.7 points per game while shooting an impressive 53.8 percent from the field.

He is also especially careful with the basketball. The center recorded just 1.5 turnovers despite getting a significant number of touches each game. He was a consistent scorer offensively, playing considerable minutes while making few mistakes.

If Drummond can translate his size, athleticism, defensive skills and freshman production to the NBA, there is every reason to believe he can become a top five center. His presence is felt each time he takes the court, and although he is just 18 years old, he is a player teams must invest in because of his significant upside.

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