He was greeted with an uproar from the Rentschler Field crowd at an early September football game. And then he received another ovation — nearly as loud as Jim Calhoun’s — at UConn’s early October First Night.
Andre Drummond was, without a doubt, hailed as some sort of savior when he arrived at UConn. His presence catapulted the Huskies into the preseason top five. It made them an unequivocal contender. It triggered #repeat to trend all over Twitter.
Some of us enabled the runaway hype train.
But early in the season, it became apparent that Drummond wasn’t capable of single-handedly lifting UConn into the national title race. He was scoreless and tentative in his debut, and it took some time to shake the freshman jitters.
In many ways, his individual season mirrored UConn’s.
“He played like a freshman tonight,” UConn associate head coach George Blaney said after Drummond turned in a goose-egg in a humiliating loss to Louisville.
Then there was this: “Andre Drummond was special tonight,” Calhoun said after Drummond’s 20 points and 11 rebounds led the Huskies past West Virginia.
Through it all, Drummond — affable, incredibly grounded and, as the season progressed, disinterested in the public spotlight — vowed that he would almost certainly return for a sophomore year. He was the first to admit he needed another season under Calhoun’s tutelage. But Drummond’s top five draft stock — coupled with the team’s 2013 postseason ban — proved too much to turn down.
Here’s a look back at his brief career in story and video: