BY RICKY LINDSAY, Staff Writer
With the ninth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons selected 18-year-old Andre Drummond, the freshman center from the University of Connecticut. Drummond, hyped by scouts to be the most coveted big man in the draft behind Anthony Davis, was once expected to be a top pick in last night’s draft, but ultimately fell several spots to the Pistons.
In his only year at Connecticut, Drummond averaged 10 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game, leading the Huskies to the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
Drummond joins the Pistons young core consisting of Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight, both of whom were lottery picks the previous two drafts. Drummond should see significant playing time at center in his rookie season with the departure of Ben Wallace due to retirement. With the addition of Drummond, the pressure that Greg Monroe faced to be a presence under the basket lightens.
The Pistons had two second round picks in the draft. With the 39th pick, the Pistons selected junior swingman Khris Middleton of Texas A&M. Middleton averaged 13.2 points, 5 blocks, and 1 steal for the Aggies last season. Middleton was also named to the All-Big 12 Second Team in his sophomore season.
With the 44th pick, the Pistons selected senior guard Kim English from Missouri. English had a strong senior season, averaging 14.5 points and 4.2 rebounds per game for the Tigers. He was named to the All-Big 12 team for the second time of his college career. English was named the Big 12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player twice in his career, along with Big 12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player after impressive performances.
Expect the Pistons second round picks to be either role players or bench players in their rookie season, since starters Tayshaun Prince and Rodney Stuckey will get the majority of playing time.
The Pistons have received a lot of draft luck as they continue to rebuild from their past glory and current failure. A young core of Drummond, Monroe, and Knight should help them become a force in the NBA for years to come.