On Friday night, the 6-foot-10 Drummond recorded the first double-double of his young career during the Pistons' 91-90 win over Toronto at the Palace, recording 13 points and 13 rebounds.
Drummond played all but 42 seconds in the fourth quarter. He, along with Pistons guard Brandon Knight, who scored the game-winning basket, was responsible for Detroit creeping closer to some sort of respectability at 3-10 -- or at least giving fans hope the youthful team is getting better.
Drummond, taken by the Pistons ninth overall in the 2012 NBA draft out of UConn, attacked the rim at both ends of the court, earning the respect of Frank at practice Saturday, as the team prepared for today's game against the New York Knicks.
"He's made some big strides," Frank said of Drummond, who appears to have the size and physical tools to one day be a consistent game-changer in the league.
"We're proud of what he's done, and he hasn't even come close to his (potential). His effort, his basketball character and his athleticism ... we don't win the game last night without him. There's huge growth and potential, and there's pain as well, just like there is with every player. But he was very good in different areas last night."
Drummond, from Middletown, Conn., was perhaps the most highly touted high school player ever to attend UConn. Much like the Huskies, he had an inconsistent freshman season last year, averaging 10 points and 7.6 rebounds. At times, he appeared lost; at others, he showed off skills that no one else on the court had, particularly against Syracuse and Fab Melo.
Making it in the NBA won't happen overnight, but Drummond was happy to hear Frank's praise, which he deflected, saying it was a team effort that got Detroit the win over the Raptors.
"Thank you, but it was great teamwork last night," Drummond said. "We fed off each other and came out with a great win. We executed ... and I definitely have faith in my teammates. We came together in a tough situation and worked real hard."
Frank agreed with Drummond about the Pistons' scrappy victory.
"It was good to finish," the coach said. "The times we've played quality basketball, we've followed a certain script and last night it was reinforced.
"It wasn't a perfect game -- and there won't be a perfect game -- but it's dealing with the imperfections during the course of a game and the turbulent times and being able to move on and continue to be persistent that makes the difference."