Tuesday, March 31, 2009

DaJuan Summers Is Going Pro

It's not surprising, but it's unfortunate. Georgetown's leading scorer and would-be Senior captain decided to forgo his last year at the Hilltop to pursue a career at the next level.

This is particularly interesting because about a month ago, the Washington Post reported that Summers and freshman stud Greg Monroe would be returning for next year. I believe this occurred after their win at Villanova.

Since that point, Georgetown finished their season in a downward spiral, and a first round loss to Baylor in the N.I.T. probably solidified Summer's thoughts to go pro.

Summers entered Georgetown as a top recruit, along with McDonald's All-American Vernon Macklin, but quickly stepped up as a go-to option down low and showed effective range from outside. After his freshman year, Summers was selected to the Big East All-Freshman team, and ended up second behind Villanova's Scotty Reynolds for Freshman of the Year honors.

In his sophomore year, Summers was a pivotal part of Georgetown's top 10-ranked team, and contributed heavily on offense. But after the graduation of center Roy Hibbert, guard Jon Wallace, and forward Patrick Ewing Jr, along with the transferring of guard Jeremiah Rivers (Indiana) and Vernon Macklin (Florida), Summers was left virtually by himself as the only go-to scorer left from the Hoya team that reached the Final Four in 2007.

The 2008-2009 campaign was particularly tough for the Hoyas. They started 13-1 and beat top-ranked UConn in the Big East opener, but from there the Hoyas plummeted, winning only 6 of the remaining 21 games. Summer's led the Hoyas with 13 points and averaged 4 rebounds this past year, but struggled to assert himself on the blocks, often opting to stay in the corner, waiting to spot up for a three pointer.

At 6'8 and 235 pounds, Summers has a NBA body and is athletic enough to be a good small forward. He has a long frame, and is a solid perimeter shooter. If he can toughen up down low, he could turn in to a legitimate pro.

Summers was often chastised by Hoya fans for never making the leap to star status after his solid freshman campaign. He had/has the ability to be a game-changer like his former teammate Jeff Green, but often became invisible on the court for long stretches.

The loss of Summers will hurt the Hoyas for next year. If he were to return, the Hoyas would have a solid front-court, with the addition of incoming small forward Hollis Thompson and Big East rookie of the Year Greg Monroe. Now the Hoyas will struggle to find a solid replacement at power forward.

As a Hoya fan, I am obviously upset, Summers was an explosive player who frequently displayed highlight-reel dunks and blocks. He showed flashes of raw power and tenacity.

There were not a lot of things better than seeing him throw down a thunderous drunk off of a fast break live at the Verizon Center. Yet the decision is not too surprising given the circumstances.

Summer's leaves Georgetown tied for 29th in team history with 1,129 points. He averaged 11.2 points and 4.4 rebounds in his 101 career games.

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