06 - 21
August 2016
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USA's Drummond now dominates on a regular basis

DETROIT (2016 Rio Olympics) - Imagine what must be going through the minds of USA coach Mike Krzyzewski and the national team's managing director, Jerry Colangelo.

How can they possibly come up with a final roster for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games when there are so many talented and deserving players champing at the bit to compete at the Olympics?

Some of them are already Olympic gold medalists while others are world champions.

Some have not had a seismic impact on the team, but should do so if selected to play at the Summer Games.

One such player is Andre Drummond, who featured last year in the USA's all-conquering side at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.

The Detroit Pistons center appeared in all but one of the Americans' games but did not log meaningful minutes.

When he did play, though, Drummond made quite an impression.

At 2.10m in height and with a body that's about as powerful as they come in the NBA, Drummond has taken giant strides in the past year.

The 22-year-old was awesome on Sunday in maybe the most dominant display of his career, scoring 29 points and corralling 27 rebounds.

His Pistons coach, Stan Van Gundy, once coached a player who scored and rebounded at will when he was at the helm of the Orlando Magic.

That player was USA international Dwight Howard.

Now, Van Gundy is marveling at Drummond's rapid ascension to elite center.

"Andre's numbers are phenomenal," Van Gundy said after his star's latest performance.

"If he didn't get a rebound the rest of this (current road) trip, he'd be in the top three or four in rebounding.

"What he's doing on the boards is just phenomenal. He was just swallowing the ball up down the stretch."

Just last week against Indiana, Drummond had 29 rebounds.

Drummond entered the season as a player who could pour in some points and control the boards but where he was not as convincing was on defense.

That part of his game is getting better and better.

In Sunday's win, the big man blocked three shots and came up with a couple of steals.

His towering presence makes opponents think twice before they drive into the lane to attempt shots.

"I think he's been tremendous," Van Gundy said of his center's defense.

"Much, much better, much more active, using his quickness."

There will be no shortage of options for the USA when it comes to assembling their roster for Rio.

Right now, though, it's a good bet that we'll see Drummond among those basketball players making the famous walk around the Olympic track during the Opening Ceremony.

It's clearly something that he wants to be a part of, judging from how happy he was to be a part of last year's team.

Almost game time! Beyond blessed to have this opportunity to be apart of this team ! #3TillGold @usabasketball

A photo posted by Andre Drummond (@andredrummondd) on