Reggie Jackson: Andre Drummond ‘has been a freak amongst men out here’

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 25: Andre Drummond
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 25: Andre Drummond /

The new-and-improved Andre Drummond is continuing to impress with his performance at training camp so far. That now includes Detroit Pistons teammate Reggie Jackson.

Detroit Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson told reporters Friday that he felt Drummond been outright dominant so far:

"“He’s been a freak amongst men out here,” Jackson said. “Every rebound is his. He’s trying to break the rim every time he gets it. He’s trying to protect the paint. He’s running hard. … He’s been playing tremendously well.”"

Jackson’s comments were moments after he finished his first full-contact scrimmage of the year.

They also come two days after Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy’s comments about being impressed by the big man’s focus and effort during practices.

The Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association shared a video further detailing Jackson’s comments late Friday night:

Van Gundy said after practice Friday that this year’s training camp feels different. He feels Drummond’s play is contributing to the team’s overall performances so far:

"“They see him running and defending and challenging shots. I think that’s where they see it more than anything,” said Van Gundy. “They see him being a force around the basket. I think everybody’s noticed it and just been locked in to doing the right thing. He’s been really good.”"

Andre Drummond, who was more efficient offensively from the free-throw line than from the post last season, is coming into this year more focused than ever.

Related Story: The curious case of Andre Drummond

After recording 13.6 points, 13.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game in 2016-17, Drummond became a figurative lightning rod for debates and discussions about his play throughout the campaign. Now, the sixth-year player is looking forward to being back to who he expects to be:

"“The season I had last year, that’s just not who I am,” Drummond said. “That’s not the player I am, the way I acted on the floor and the way I was toward my teammates. My overall play wasn’t who I was. A lot of soul-searching this summer, really found myself and it feels good to be back.”"

The 24-year-old entered Pistons training camp weighing 280 pounds, 35 less than before the summer break. Drummond also had nose surgery to fix a deviated septum during the offseason, making it easier for him to breathe.

Related Story: Andre Drummond had surgery to repair deviated septum

Jackson had also addressed Drummond about the need for him “to become the Pistons’ leading voice and most consistent force” during a team retreat in August. Now, thanks to his training camp performance and the consistency he has shown so far, Jackson’s expectations for his teammate are that much higher:

"“He knows that’s what I expect from him this season. This is what I’m going to hold him accountable for,” said Jackson. “He’s been great and really reaching his potential. Because we’re only going to be as good as our best player and that’s Andre Drummond.”"

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If he can keep up his performance level shown at camp so far up until opening night, we may very likely see a new and improved Drummond come Oct. 18 when the Detroit Pistons begin the season.