EMMITSBURG, MD., OCT. 23 -- Here it is, 10 days before the Washington Bullets begin the regular season, and Sam Jefferson is here on merit. The former Georgetown forward is the last of the free agent big men still in training camp, and he has a more than reasonable chance of making the team.

It's not his scoring. He has a high of six points against Indiana. He shot zero for six against the Chicago Bulls. And it's not as if he has a history of scoring; that wasn't his forte' at Georgetown. But he has impressed Washington's coaches by not making mistakes, picking up the offense quickly and generally always being at the right place on the floor.

"I'm just working hard," Jefferson said before tonight's scrimmage at Knott Arcc Arena before a surprisingly large crowd that filled half of the facility.

He outlasted a primary competitor, American University's Ron Draper, who was cut Monday. With John Williams still in limbo, the likelihood that there will be one front-court spot left open when the season starts Nov. 2 in Miami still is good. And Jefferson still is here.

Add Tom Hammonds's injury and you have an opportunity for more looks, more chances. Jefferson has made the most of the opportunity.

"He's played well in this camp," assistant coach Bill Blair said. "He's shot the ball well, done everything we asked him to do. He's been a solid citizen and there's always a place for a citizen like that. And it's hard to cut people like that. That's the way it should be. That's the way a player should be, make it hard on you, because you never know what will happen."

Washington's camp is one of the longest in the league. Nowadays most teams go for little more than a week. But many of those are veteran squads that just need to get their legs and get back in a basketball frame of mind.

But the extra time here has allowed Jefferson's game to unfold. Washington's passing offense is usually tough on big men. Because of its constant movement and screen-setting requirements, there is a premium on players who can pop in and out, go to the top of the key and flash down low.

It wasn't apparent to the uninitiated, but that's precisely what Jefferson was doing for the Hoyas while others scored the points.

"It wasn't that difficult to pick up," he said. "At Georgetown we ran some offenses that were similar, very similar to it. I played {small forward} there, so I learned how to play on the perimeter as well as inside."

For the Hoyas, his best scoring average was 3.5 points his senior season, after averaging 15 points and 14 rebounds for Flint Hill. And the Georgetown teams of his era had Reggie Williams, Charles Smith and Alonzo Mourning, big scorers. There is no stardom in boxing out.

So no one noticed when Jefferson was invited to the Bullets' rookie camp. There were bigger names there, like Tom Greis from Villanova, David Butler from defending national champion UNLV and former pro Hansi Gnad. But one by one, they've fallen by the wayside -- none of them even invited to training camp.

Gradually, Jefferson has received more playing time. Sunday he played 20 minutes in the 97-96 loss to Indiana, hitting two of two from the floor and grabbing two rebounds.

"I think I've progressed in each exhibition game, gotten better each time," he said. "When you're out there against that level of competition, you adjust to it quickly."

"The big thing about Sam is that Sam is not going to cut himself," Blair said. "You're going to have to cut him. He knows what he's doing. And he's a good kid."

In tonight's scrimmage, he unveiled a couple of low-post offensive moves that hadn't been shown yet. And he kept setting the screens, over and over. The cast is now 14, with two cuts to go. One of them must be a guard. That leaves one more move.

And Sam Jefferson is still here.

"I don't feel any more pressure than I did the first day I went to rookie camp," he said. "You can't worry about that. You just have to go out there and play your best."