Summers beefs up Hoyas

Freshman from McDonogh adds solid defense to surging Georgetown

Men's notebook

February 21, 2007|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Sun reporter

No. 12 Georgetown produced the past two Players of the Week in the Big East Conference.

Roy Hibbert is still 7 feet 2 but no longer a project. If he had three more attempts, his 70 percent shooting from the field would lead the nation, and Hibbert gives the Hoyas a counter for gimpy Aaron Gray when No. 10 Pittsburgh comes to Verizon Center on Saturday (2 p.m., CBS).

Jeff Green shared Big East Rookie of the Year honors with Rudy Gay two years ago. After a season in which his production didn't increase, the 6-9 junior forward is one of the smoothest, steadiest players you will find on any campus.

Which takes us to Baltimore native DaJuan Summers, the other large reason the Hoyas have one of the nation's best front lines and a nine-game winning streak.

Georgetown has been on a roll since Summers picked up on some of the Princeton-influenced nuances in the half-court offense and bought in to the urging of coach John Thompson III that he could be a defensive stopper.

Summers played a total of 44 minutes in Georgetown's first three games. In Saturday's win at Villanova, he was on the floor for 35. Nearly a 40 percent shooter from three-point range until he missed all four of his long-distance attempts in Philadelphia, Summers was nonetheless clutch at the free-throw line, where he made seven of eight, and he blocked a career-high four shots.

"I don't know if I could have done that back in November," Summers said. "My mind-set used to be: `If I'm not scoring, I'm not helping the team,' but that Villanova game was a perfect example that even when your shot's not on, you can always do other things."

Summers played with his back to the basket at McDonogh, where he was a two-time All-Metro selection. He got to work on the wing for Cecil Kirk on the AAU scene, which got Thompson excited about his inside-out game.

After an upset loss to Old Dominion on Nov. 19, Thompson made the 6-8, 241-pound Summers a starter. He hasn't passed out of the high post the way Brandon Bowman could, but Summers has been more than an able replacement for that four-year starter.

In Big East games, Summers is averaging 10.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and nearly 30 minutes. He defends bigs and smalls - see the clamps he put on Towson's Gary Neal in December, and the possessions during which he checked 6-2 Scottie Reynolds at Villanova.

Summers may not have the numbers to crack the Big East All-Rookie team in this season of the freshman, but if Kevin Durant, Greg Oden, Brandan Wright and Chase Budinger all take the money and run, he would be among the best sophomores in the nation next season.

He has an NBA body and game and figures to be the next Cecil Kirk guy to get there, with nbadraft.net's current mock board for 2008 having Summers as the No. 11 pick.

The four letters NCAA are more urgent.

Georgetown led Florida in the final 30 seconds of their Sweet 16 game last season. Green, Hibbert and Bowman combined for 35 points and 20 rebounds. Joakim Noah, Al Horford and Corey Brewer teamed for 36 and 18. The Gators won their next three by 13, 15 and 16, leading to 11 months of what-if questions for the Hoyas.

Fire breathers

James "Bruiser" Flint got his first coaching job in the late 1980s as an assistant at Coppin State, where he learned the necessity of being tough on the road.

Flint is in his sixth season at Drexel, which plays at Towson on Saturday at noon in the Colonial Athletic Association regular-season finale for both. It will be Senior Day at Towson Center, where a packed house would elicit a shrug from the Dragons, who have won at Saint Joseph's, Villanova, Syracuse, Temple, Hofstra and Creighton.

That last one produced the best game in ESPN's BracketBusters promotion, as Drexel quieted all of Omaha.

"That was an unbelievable atmosphere; everybody had a beer in their hand," Flint said. "We get a little more focus on the road."

Drexel lost at home to Virginia Commonwealth, Old Dominion and Hofstra, the three teams it trails in the CAA. Frank Elegar and 6-10 Chaz Crawford are a nasty low-post combination, and senior Bashir Mason does more than a 6-footer has a right to.

Matt Stevenson, a 6-7 senior out of Loch Raven High, is the ninth man on a Drexel team that uses an eight-man rotation.

Tap-ins

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.