NBA Draft 2012: Andre Drummond and More Overhyped Prospects

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJune 22, 2012

HARTFORD, CT - JANUARY 9:  Andre Drummond #12 of the Connecticut Huskies celebrates with teammates Ryan Boatright #11 and Alex Oriakhi #34 during a game against the West Virginia Mountaineers in the second  half at the XL Center on January 9, 2012 in Hartford, Connecticut.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Every year leading up to the NBA Draft, we hear about a lot of names who have raw talent and will be taken a lot higher than their actual performance would merit. 

One of the problems when trying to evaluate NBA talent, much more than any other sport, is you don't know how they will adjust to the speed and power of the game. We can look at each player and hope what will happen, yet there are so many things that have to go right for the player to get there. 

Here are the biggest names who are getting far too much love as we approach draft day. 


Andre Drummond, C, Connecticut

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 06:  Andre Drummond #12 of the Connecticut Huskies in action against the DePaul Blue Demons during their first round game of the 2012 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 6, 2012 in New York City.  (P
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

On raw talent, Drummond is second to none. At 7 feet, 279 pounds, he is physically ready to contribute in the NBA right now. 

The problems come when you look at how Drummond performed at UConn. Looking at his efforts in games, there is a lot to be desired. A player of his size should be playing down low all game long, yet he seems timid and unable to take control in the paint. 

You can look at Drummond and dream all you want. Unfortunately, reality is going to set in and he is likely going to end up as a part-time starter. That kind of player has value, just not in the top-10 picks of the NBA Draft. 


Austin Rivers, SG, Duke

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 16:  Austin Rivers #0 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after the Blue Devils lose to the Lehigh Mountain Hawks 75-70 during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 16, 2012 in Gree
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Rivers was the most-hyped player coming into college basketball last season. Eventually, we would learn that he is not the player we thought he was. This isn't to say he is a bad player, but may not be the star he was projected to be out of high school. 

The biggest attribute that Rivers has is his great ball-handling skills. He can create his own shot with one of the best crossovers in the draft. He just isn't good at hitting his shots consistently. 

Another problem that Rivers has is his unwillingness to take the ball to the hole. He is comfortable settling for three-point shots, but he needs to get more aggressive with the ball in his hands and learn to trust his teammates from time to time. 


Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, IL - JANUARY 10: Meyers Leonard #12 of the Illinois Fighting Illini celebrates late in the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Assembly Hall on January 10, 2012 in Champaign, Illinois. The Illini defeated the Buckeyes 79-74. (Photo by Joe R
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Usually you are going to find that a lot of big men get overrated because teams are so obsessed with finding size. The reason Greg Oden was taken ahead of Kevin Durant is because he was thought to be the next great center. 

Leonard is not going to be the next great center. In fact, he is going to be a lottery bust in this year's draft. His game is predicated on defense right now. He has no jump shot and is not strong enough to handle himself down low. 

On talent, Leonard is not a lottery pick. He is a capable backup center with a specialty on defense, but that does not warrant being a first-round selection.