The Portland Trail Blazers hosted UConn center Andre Drummond and four other prospects for a 2012 pre-Draft workout on Saturday. Drummond has been linked to the Blazers in mock draft after mock draft in recent weeks and is listed as the No. 2 player in DraftExpress.com's Top 100. The other four prospects were not listed in the top 100.
- UConn center Andre Drummond | DraftExpress profile
- Nevada forward Olek Czyz | DraftExpress profile
- FIU forward Dominique Ferguson | DraftExpress profile
- Iowa guard Matt Gatens | | No DraftExpress profile
- Detroit forward Eli Holman | DraftExpress profile
Drummond, 18, averaged 10.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game for UConn as a freshman. He was originally in the high school Class of 2012 but reclassified to enter UConn early. He declared for the 2012 NBA Draft after one season.
As per new GM Neil Olshey's draconian rules, the media was severely limited in its ability to watch the workout and Blazers interim coach Kaleb Canales would not discuss Drummond's play in any detail.
Drummond said he has now worked out for the Sacramento Kings (No. 5) and the Blazers (No. 6) and plans to workout for the Charlotte Bobcats (No. 2), Washington Wizards (No. 3) and Cleveland Cavaliers (No. 4) before the 2012 NBA Draft on June 28. He said that he ate dinner with Blazers officials on Friday night and was planning to meet with owner Paul Allen on Saturday.
Here's a transcript of Drummond's comments. Questions are bolded and paraphrased. Answers are word-for-word and in blockquote.
Update: Video added at the bottom.
How did you perform?
This is my second one. I was in Sacramento yesterday. This is my second workout today. Today was great. Going against some of the guys and watching some of the guys play today, some of the workouts were really good. I like what they put in front of me today.
What did you do in the workout?
A whole lot of things. Post moves. Back to the basket one-on-one things. Some shooting. Some ballhandling drills. A lot of things like that.
People question your motor?
Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. Everybody is going to talk about you until the day you die. Not even me, everybody. Somebody is going to have something to say about you. I just feel like when I get on the floor I play my hardest. Can't please everybody. I'm just going to do what I have to do, I'm not going to try to impress anybody, just play the game I love.
Where do you think you'll go on Draft night?
I haven't really heard anything. I'm just really focused on working out right now. Trying to get better as a player.
Characterize season at UConn?
We didn't really follow some of the expectations we had for each other. We didn't really get as far as we wanted to. It happens sometimes. We had a couple downfalls throughout our season. That's really what it is.
Characterize your season at UConn?
Personally there's things I feel I could have done better. Not only as me but as a team player as well. Could have spoken up a little bit, try to be a leader. A couple of things like that.
Why turn pro?
I feel it's an opportunity that I see that was put in front of me and decided to go after it.
Anything you're trying to do in the workouts to improve your stock?
I'm just trying to work hard. Offensively and defensively, rebound the ball and block shots.
Type of player you want to become?
I just want to be an all-around player, really. I want to do a lot of things. It's going to start slowly. It's not going to be a big jump. I'm going to work towards my goals.
What is your game built around right now?
Running the floor, rebounding and blocking shots, right now. I'm looking forward to getting better as an offensive player.
How do you compare to other center prospects?
I don't compare myself to anybody. I just know what I need to do, go on the floor and just play hard.
Consider yourself the best center prospect?
I consider myself a hard worker.
Familiar with the Blazers?
I know a couple of the guys on the team but other than that I didn't get a chance to watch much because I was in my own season. I didn't get much chance to watch that much NBA with my own season going on.
Blazers you know?
Raymond Felton, Jonny Flynn, Hasheem [Thabeet], [LaMarcus] Aldridge.
Game improve since season ended?
Definitely. Gotten a whole let better since I left UConn. I've lost 22 pounds. Quicker on my feet. More lean. I fixed my jumpshot. I'm getting a whole lot better as a player.
What is your weight now?
Almost 300 before?
I was close. I wasn't fat I just had a lot of weight.
How did you lose weight?
A lot of conditioning. Changing my diet. Running a lot.
Eat with team on Friday?
Was Paul Allen there?
No. I'm going to meet him right now.
How tall are you?
I'm 6-foot-11 with shoes on. Elevated shoes. WIthout shoes I'm about 6-foot-10 or 6-foot-9.
Describe your hometown of Middletown, CT.
It's a great environment for kids to grow up. Nothing bad out there at all. A good environment. Everybody knows each other. Like a big community, everyone looks out for each other.
How big is it?
No bigger than this floor you see right here. It's real small. One high school, two middle schools, three elementary schools.
Paul Allen watched the workout?
I believe so. I didn't really get a chance to look on the sideline and see him.
How many workouts?
Five in total. Three left. Washington, Charlotte and Cleveland.
Here's video courtesy of Sean Meagher at OregonLive.com.
Portland's pre-Draft workouts will continue on Monday.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter