Column: Talk your talk Andre!

Detroit Pistons' Luke Kennard (5), Andre Drummond (0) and Langston Galloway watch the final minutes of the second half from the bench during an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

On the precipice of their contest against the Philadelphia 76ers last week, Detroit Pistons’ center Andre Drummond took on NBA media kingpin Joel Embiid and created a little publicity of his own by criticizing Embiid’s brittleness while lauding his own durability.

Let ‘em know Dre!

Tell them how you’ve played and played missing, as you said, “only 4 to 5 games” the past few years.

Inform them how you’re playing a career-high 33.4 minutes per game on a revitalized Detroit squad.

What are you doing with all those minutes?

You’re averaging a career high in rebounds per game (15 per game, best in the league), defensive rebounds (10.1 per game) and assists per game (four per game, up from a previous career high of 1.1).

You’re second in the league in offensive rebound percentage (16.5), first in defensive rebound percentage (35.4) and first in total rebound percentage (35.4). You’re first in total offensive rebounds (109) and total rebounds (331), while second in total defensive rebounds (222). Is there any rebound you can’t get?

Even in the ancillary, your steal percentage of 2.2 puts you in the 91st percentile of all centers. You’re getting fouled on 19.5 percent of your field goals, a career high putting you in the 92nd percentile for your position. Your assist percentage has skyrocketed from 5.9 percent to 17.6 percent (90th percentile). You have to love that high post.

Holistically you’re still killing it. While you’re doing what you’re doing, your usage rate has dropped to its lowest since 2013. Efficient. Your true shooting percentage (57.7) is the best since 2013 and your PER (player efficiency rating) is 22.7 of the best in your time in the league.

According to HoopsHype writer Frank Urbina:

Your DPS (defensive points saved) of 82.81 is best in the league by a whopping 20 points. Likewise, your box plus-minus (a box score-based metric for evaluating basketball players' quality and contribution to the team) of 6.6 is sixth in the league, stemming largely from a 5.6 defensive box plus-minus that is again, best in the association.

You can’t talk about your improvement without the charity stripe. Let’s be honest. It was embarrassing. Prior to this year, you had broken 40 percent one time. You were an absolute liability. But with your reconstructed form and better breathing and stamina, you’re up to 64.8 percent. Not great, but certainly passable.

If you don’t understand all the numbers I’ve thrown out, then just trust me: Andre Drummond has gone from good to very good. The former Shippee Hall resident is on the path to the All Star game (with ease), All NBA recognition and several other accolades. Perhaps because he’s in Detroit or perhaps because it’s early, but right now the NBA media is only murmuring about him.

Meanwhile Joel Embiid is easily one of the five most discussed players in professional basketball. It’s not without merit; Joel Embiid is a destroyer of worlds.

He’s an All Star, All NBA, All everything when healthy. But a lot of his publicity is also self-derived. The controversial nature of his health, as well as the humorous and enjoyable manner in which he conducts himself with the press and on social media keeps him on our lips.

But Drummond has been stellar this year too. In different, less flashy ways, he’s been dominant nonetheless. Maybe it’s UConn bias. Maybe it is because Drummond seems like a good guy, but I want to hear about it. I’m glad Drummond spoke up and put a brief spotlight on himself. He deserves it. He doesn’t always have to toot his own horn but modesty is overrated. Andre Drummond has been one of the premier players in the NBA this season and people need to know about it.


Matt Barresi is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at matthew.barresi@uconn.edu.