Lessons Learned

Drummond soaks up daily knowledge from Rasheed Wallace

Andre Drummond soaks up a little knowledge from Rasheed Wallace every day they spend together. One of the most searing lessons so far: Don’t engage him in a game of H-O-R-S-E.

“I played with him the other day – it wasn’t fun,” Drummond grinned after a Monday workout. What did coach Wallace throw at his prodigy?

“Everything. The little side corner shot with his feet against the out-of-bounds line. The shot from the track line (that runs behind the basket), over the hoop, made it in. And then the two-ball thing. He’s a natural. I don’t know why I did it to myself. I have no idea why I did it.”

Rasheed didn’t pitch a shutout, though.

“I got him with a couple of things. He can’t dunk still, so I had to do some things he couldn’t do.”

The more relevant lessons – the ones that will help Drummond inch closer to fulfilling his vast potential and subsequently help the Pistons win games – are also coming. Among them is developing a go-to move or two, which new coach Maurice Cheeks has made clear to Drummond will be expected of him.

“We’re going to start getting the ball in the paint a lot more for Greg (Monroe) and I, so he said, ‘You need to work on your low-post game, because if I’m going to be giving you the ball, you need to be able to do something with it and not make me look like a fool,’ ” Drummond recalled. “I’m out here every day, working on my right-hand hooks, quick rips from the top of the key and just simple things to get myself easy baskets.”

Drummond said Wallace has made workouts varied and fun for him, coming up with something new daily to keep it fresh.

“It all ties in to the same thing, but we do it in different ways and it makes it fun and more enjoyable to come in and do it.”

Wallace’s basketball IQ and exceptional versatility were widely extolled throughout his NBA career, but Drummond’s athleticism gives him something else in his toolbox. If Drummond can assimilate Wallace’s savvy into his repertoire, his ceiling might be beyond anyone’s reach.

“I’ve picked up a lot of different tricks just being with him,” Drummond said. “We’re not doing anything drastic as of yet. Right now, he’s just telling me he’s going to keep it simple since it’s so early but at the end of the season you’ll see something a lot different than at the beginning. He’s said, ‘You’re one of the fastest bigs I’ve ever seen and your feet are really good, light on your feet, and you move really well, so the moves I show you, you should do 10 times faster than I did.’ So I’m excited for what’s coming.”

I’ll have more tomorrow, including Drummond’s perspective on how the week at USA Basketball’s minicamp went and his anticipation for the season ahead with the addition of point guards Brandon Jennings and Chauncey Billups to the mix.