College, NBA Draft / Jun 17, 2009 / 3:35 pm

NBA Draft ’09 Stock: DaJuan Summers

DaJuan Summers (Georgetown)

DaJuan Summers (Georgetown)

I was so impressed the first time I saw DaJuan Summers play, I had to remind myself to preface each bit of praise with, “Seriously, I’m not just saying this ’cause he’s going to Georgetown.”

(People who know me know I’m a G’town fan. No, I didn’t go to school there. But the Hoyas were my favorite team growing up, and since my alma mater, Seattle U, was D-2 when I went there, I wasn’t breaking any sports-fan rules by sticking with G’town as my squad.)

Anyway, the first time I saw Summers was at the ’06 Jordan Brand All-American high school game. Sharing the court with Kevin Durant, Thaddeus Young and Ty Lawson, Summers — a Georgetown commit out of McDonogh H.S. in Maryland — stood out because he did everything well on the court. He wasn’t as fast as Lawson, or as athletic as Young, and he couldn’t score like KD; he just did it all: handle, pass, rebound, play D, shoot, drive, score in the post, move without the ball … he even played hard and exhibited solid fundamentals in what was really a meaningless exhibition game. At the same time Jeff Green was turning into a star at Georgetown in John Thompson III‘s Princeton-like system, Summers seemed like a natural fit to be the next coming of Green.

It didn’t really work out that way. While Green won Big East Player of the Year as a junior and was a Top-5 NBA Draft pick, Summers never saw that level of success. As a junior this past season, Summers (13.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.3 apg) failed to lead G’town to the NCAA Tournament, and now a week away from the Draft, he’s slotted to go late in the first round of what is already being called a weak draft.

At 6-8, 243 pounds, with a solid pre-draft combine performance, Summers has the measurements for an NBA small forward who can slide to the four on occasion. And those all-around skills he showed in high school haven’t gone anywhere. He’s still got the talent to be a multi-faceted threat. So why isn’t he getting the same Lottery talk that Green got?

For one, Summers still hasn’t proven himself. One knock on Green early in college was that he wasn’t assertive or enough of a leader, but he answered those questions by taking his team to the Final Four and hitting some clutch shots in big games along the way. Summers was able to blend in next to Green and Roy Hibbert as a freshman, he was still the #2 option behind Hibbert as a sophomore, and then as the focal point of JT3′s team this season, his season ended with a first-round NIT exit. Summers often faded into the background in some of Georgetown’s most crucial games, too, like when he scored four points in a blowout loss to Louisville, or put up just nine points in a first-round Big East tourney loss to St. John’s.

Summers has enough size, skill and potential to warrant a first-round pick. Had he stayed in school for his senior year he could have played himself into the Lottery with a strong season, but for now he’s more likely to fall somewhere between 20 and 30.

Will DaJuan Summers be an impact player in the NBA?

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  • http://edthesportsfan.com SoulOnIce

    Man, this one’s hard to call. I remember seeing him when he was a freshman against UNC in the Elite Eight, and thinking he was on the verge of becoming an absolute monster, but I don’t know what happened after that. It’s hard to pin-point, which sucks, because I know he has a legit game. He’s one of the types of players that can contribute to a contending team, because he does have a grown man’s game. Even with that, I don’t see him going in the first round; mid-second, MAYBE.

  • Bron42 aka Had Springs Before Slamball

    Did julian wright have a impact? cuz i see them as about the same style with wright having more flash in college.

  • kevin k

    word “potential” is overrated

  • http://deleted Luigi

    i love my hoyas n terps. but DaJuan is one of those. guys who can do it all…but just havent gotten the credit for it yet. I think he’ll be like Trevor Ariza. because he Ariza can probally do it all well..just not great at one aspect but good at all. shoot. athletic. defend. n plus he wont have to be the main guy on a team so he wont have that pressure. plus at 6’8 n the long arms he has…or atleast i think they’re long. he should contribute nicely to an NBA team

  • Seven Duece

    In what world do you think DaJuan Summers could be a lottery pick?! You can’t be serious. People talk about skills as if decision making isn’t one of them. Plenty of games this year, he’d make bone head plays that sealed the fate of the Hoyas. And if he gets drafted in the first round, I’ll be sincerely surprised.

  • Hoya Saxa

    DaJuan can shoot very well but, contrasted with Jeff Green he has no handle whatsoever. And he is a horrible team player. He consistently loses his man on defense leading to layups. He always tries to take the game over, but inevitably dribbles it off his foot or misses the rim entirely when he jacks an inappropriate three. The bigger the situation the more likely his error. He has some size but kinda weak on the rebounds. A serious project to last in the NBA. I wish him the best, but see Europe in his future.

    Thanks for your service DaJuan. I don’t want to hate too much over last season, but the Hoyas are better off with Nikita Mescheriakov who plays within the system.

    Lets Go Hoyas!

  • Jason

    He reminds me of Linas Kleiza. Same build and athletic ability. Both do not have a lot of crinkles to their games but they can score at the rim and from distance so they have value. When he goes to the rim, he goes straight and like a bull; he’s not changing directions or using hesitation moves. He’s a solid outside shooter with range. Like Kleiza, he tends to have an one-track mind for his own offense.

    Kleiza went in the twenties and is a solid player off the bench. I think Summers will have a similar career path.

  • hammer