Slumping Summers Says He'll Return to Georgetown for Senior Season

Georgetown forward DaJuan Summers, with Coach John Thompson III, began the season as a top NBA prospect but has slumped of late.
Georgetown forward DaJuan Summers, with Coach John Thompson III, began the season as a top NBA prospect but has slumped of late. (By Preston Keres -- The Washington Post)
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By Liz Clarke
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 28, 2009

More than 20 NBA scouts were on hand for Georgetown's pivotal game against Louisville on Monday. They didn't see the best of the young Hoyas, who were shown up yet again by a veteran squad that dominated both ends of the court.

Nor did they see the best of junior forward DaJuan Summers -- the object of much of the scouts' attention -- who performed at a fraction of his ability, scoring just four points on 1-of-8 shooting.

Summers insists he's not aware when scouts are present. It's not as important as the game at hand, he said. He hammered that point home yesterday, when he said that he intends to return to Georgetown for his senior year.

It likely wasn't the topic he wanted to discuss as Georgetown (14-12, 5-10) wrapped up practice before boarding a bus to Philadelphia, where another daunting Big East opponent awaits -- 10th-ranked Villanova (23-5, 11-4). But Summers didn't dodge the question Hoyas fans have been mulling as this disappointing season draws to a close and attention shifts to the team's prospects in 2009-10.

"I'll be here for next year," Summers said.

Like freshman center Greg Monroe, who said earlier this month that he intends to return for his sophomore year, Summers has plenty of time to declare for the 2009 NBA draft. And any player who does declare has until mid-June to pull out of the draft without losing his college eligibility.

But in Summers's case, returning for a fourth season is the smart play, in the view of former first-round pick Len Elmore, a veteran of 10 professional seasons who has followed the Hoyas closely this season as a commentator for ESPN.

"He's a talented young man, but what he has demonstrated pretty much is one-dimensional play," Elmore said of Summers in a telephone interview. "He settles too much for jump shots. Rarely does he create shots for other players, which he's capable of doing. If he tries out for an NBA team, he might be able to show something different. But in my estimation, you can't go wrong by staying another year -- no matter what anybody says."

Georgetown Coach John Thompson III said Summers's future shouldn't be debated now, with three regular season games and the Big East tournament remaining.

"At the end of the season we'll evaluate all of that," Thompson said. "Can he grow? Yes, absolutely. Everyone can still grow and improve, and he's got a lot that he can and will improve on."

That said, there is no "cookie-cutter answer" for every player's situation, Thompson said.

"If that's where his head is, that's where his head is," Thompson said of Summers's plan to return. "At the same time, it will be an educated decision, as opposed to an emotional decision. And we will go through that process when the season is over."

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