Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond grabbed 26 rebounds in Monday's win over the New York Knicks, joining Dwight Howard as the only players in NBA history to record 26 or more rebounds in a game at the age of 20 or younger.
One of the league's brightest young stars, Drummond has cracked the 20-rebound threshold on four occasions this season, with Monday's incredible output representing a career-best mark for the second-year center.
The University of Connecticut product was viewed as a raw, long-term project when the Pistons selected him ninth overall in the 2012 draft, but Drummond quickly acclimated to professional life, averaging 7.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks as a rookie. Despite showing a very limited offensive skill set—7.9 points per game—he was good enough on defense and the glass to justify 20.7 minutes per game.
A solid rookie season led to some major expectations for 2013-14, and Drummond has yet to disappoint. His 13.1 rebounds per game are good for third best in the NBA this season, behind Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (13.9) and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (13.2), but ahead of the aforementioned Howard (12.5).
While he's still raw on offense and is averaging a modest 13.2 points per game, Drummond doesn't turn 21 until August and is clearly on the path to stardom. His averages this season (13.2 points, 13.1 rebounds and 1.9 blocks) aren't far off from what Howard produced (15.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, 1.4 blocks) in his own sophomore NBA campaign.
The comparison between the two centers may seem a bit premature, but Drummond's ceiling as a defensive/rebounding presence is arguably higher than Howard's. No disrespect to the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year—Drummond just has the potential to be that good.