AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Pistons rookie center Andre Drummond said he had no problem falling asleep Thursday night.
"I hit the pillow and it was lights out," he said.
A busy lead-up to the NBA Draft, filled with workouts, interviews, the official combine, and an ever-changing list of draft orders from experts around the country: it's all behind him.
His focus now?
"Being here, where Chauncey Billups, the Wallaces, that '04 team played, it blows me away.
"I'm ready to get to work."
Head coach Lawrence Frank acknowledged his newest center would be a project. Just 18 years old, Drummond played a single year at Connecticut before leaving early. 6'11" and 279 pounds, he fits a need for the team. Frank was weary of high praise just yet.
"This is an exciting day, but I'm not anointing anybody. This is going to be a process," Frank said.
Drummond said he aims to play like Shaquille O'Neal, Dwight Howard, and a host of other successful big man that have flourished in the paint.
In the same breath, he won't be intimidated to play against them.
"Playing against those guys is going to be great, but I can't really look at it as a fun thing. We're here for business and we're trying to win basketball games."
Frank is sure it will take some losses before Drummond makes any gains in the game.
"It's about how you respond. That's what it's about," Frank said.
Drummond will learn from those who have come before him, and the 18 year old, who will wear no. 1, won't easily forget his memories of the Pistons who hit the hardwood he'll now call his own.
"I'm in the same arena as they used to be in. Being a Piston is great. I mean, I have Chauncey Billups' number. To see my jersey for the first time, I felt like it was fake.
"I felt like it was a dream or something."
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.