For Andre Drummond and the Pistons, the numbers have to lie

Thanks to James Brocato, I have access to a really cool data set – complete box score and win score statistics for the Draft Express Top 100.

And because of that data set, I approached the NBA Draft with one thought running through my mind, “Anyone but Drummond.”*

Among Pistons fans, my perspective is among the minority. That’s not all that surprising, and honestly, it’s understandable. Drummond was a household name for NCAA and NBA fans before he even committed to Connecticut, he was ranked #2 overall ranking on Draft Express, and he is an exceptional athlete. He has all the things you can’t teach, as many coaches and scouts are fond of saying.

Here’s the problem – he is totally and completely unproven on the basketball court. In the NCAA at least, he didn’t produce anything close to what you’d expect out of the #2 overall prospect.

Normally, I would turn to Win Score to illustrate the point; however, in this case, the raw box score stats tell the story much, much better.

Because he is expected to play Center in the NBA, I’ll focus on the stats where you might expect a Center to contribute: Rebounds, Shooting Percentage, Blocks, Fouls, and Points (all stats per 40 minutes). And because I have complete data for the DX 100, I’ll compare Drummond to his peers in that group.

Here we go.

Let’s start with his main strength, blocks. Among the DX100, only three players averaged more blocks: Anthony Davis, Fab Melo, and John Henson. What’s more, Drummond doesn’t get himself in foul trouble when blocking all those shots; he averaged only 3.1 fouls per 40 minutes. Drummond excelled at blocking shots, and it didn’t take him off the court.

He’s also been good on the offensive glass – only Zeller and Plumlee were better.

Unfortunately, that’s where the good news ends from a statistical perspective.

In terms of scoring, Andre Drummond ranks 78th in Points per 40 (and a meager 33rd out of 35 among Power Forwards and Centers).

In terms of total rebounding, Drummond ranks 42nd overall and right in the middle of the pack at 18 among PFs and Cs.

In terms of defensive rebounding, Drummond is 41st overall and among his peers at PF and C, he ranks 30th.

In terms of shooting percentage, we can look at it two ways, eFG% and TS%. In terms of eFG%, Drummond ranks 39th overall. In terms of TS%, Drummond ranks 76th (thanks in large part to a dismal FT%, which will keep him off the floor in crunch time if it doesn’t get much, much, much better).

Admittedly, college performance is not a completely accurate predictor of professional performance – especially for players as young as Drummond. We all know this, especially as Pistons fans. We have witnessed this with our beloved Greg Monroe, who has played much better in the NBA than he did at Georgetown.

But unlike Monroe, Drummond didn’t put up numbers that were anywhere close to good (Monroe’s NCAA Win Score averages were right around average, which projected slightly below average pro).

Quite the opposite, Drummond’s numbers are downright terrible, indicating that it is very unlikely that he will contribute anything to winning anytime soon.

Here’s hoping lightning strikes, and Andre Drummond makes a liar out of the numbers.


* Okay, I didn’t want any part of Barnes or Jones III either, but mainly, Drummond because the others weren’t high on the Pistons draft board.