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D-Day for DaJuan

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The 2009 NBA Draft day is here, and with all of the pre-Draft workouts and meetings now concluded, our main man DaJuan Summers has done all he can at this point to achieve his goal of being selected in the 1st Round.

In his latest Mock Draft, Chad Ford at espn.com has Summers falling out of the 1st round and heading to Detroit in the #35 slot:

35. Detroit Pistons (via Minnesota)

DaJuan Summers | F | Georgetown
Summers has buzz just about everywhere, but if he falls this far in the draft, I think the Pistons would have to take him. Summers ability to play the 3 and the 4 will really be attractive to Detroit.

 

Spanning a few other mock drafts across the interweb, DaJuan just sneaks into the 1st round here and here, but drops into the 2nd round here

Our friends over at Slam really like DaJuan's potential in the land of false SAT scores as a piece of the the Memphis Grizzlies rebuilding effort:

I see DaJuan Summers being a Lamar Odom-type for our squad. We already have our understated orchestrator at point (Mike Conley), two dynamic swing man (O.J. Mayo and Rudy Gay), a brawny, scoring power forward (Marc Gasol) and a rebounding, shot-blocking center (our No. 1 draft pick, Hasheem Thabeet). That’s our starting five.

What we get with Summers is a natural 3 that can shoot and handle, plus he’s got court vision. He’s 6-8, 241 pounds—that means he can spend some time at the 4 in spot-duty. Truth be told, he can sub sporadically at the 2-guard spot. He’s that versatile. He’s a bit raw, but we have time for him to develop.

In addition, NBA Analyst David Aldridge lists Summers as one of his Draft Sleepers:

I’ll give an example, DaJuan Summers had what most people would say kind of an average, below average year for Georgetown, but I think he’s going to wind up being a pretty good pro. He’s has a lot of physical skills and gifts and might wind up showing you more in the pros than he did in college

If Summers is indeed selected in the 1st round, he will join Jeff Green in 2007 and Roy Hibbert in 2008 and mark three consecutive years that a Hoya has accomplished that feat.  This streak will reach a fourth consecutive year in 2010 with the likely departure of Greg Monroe, and naturally extend into 2011 with the graduation and immediate lottery selection of Nikita Mescheriakov, whose remarkable ability to hit the side of the backboard on threes from the corner is matched only by his spellbinding talent to dribble behind his back through traffic in the lane and hand the ball to the opposition.

Will DaJuan Summers be a serviceable pro in the NBA? Scouts range in their comparisons of Summers from the next Trevor Ariza to Tim Thomas to Donyell Marshall.  If Summers can get his act together I can certainly see an Ariza-type ceiling for him, though unfortunately from what I saw out of him during the latter half of his junior year season on the Hilltop, that seems about as likely as Lucas Glover winning a U.S. Open

Like so many of the other eligible draftees tonight, numerous questions surround Summers.  Will he emerge in the NBA as he did when, as a freshman, he developed as a valuable scoring option and drew comparisons to being the next Jeff Green? 

Will he perform as he did in the 2007 NCAA Tournament, helping the Hoyas with his gritty play both underneath the basket and behind the arc in the heart-stopping win over Vanderbilt in the Sweet Sixteen?  When he scored 20 points (including the ferocious throwdown in OT on Tyler Hansbrough) in the remarkable Elite 8 win over North Carolina? 

Will he rise to the occasion like he did as a sophomore, appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated and hitting the game-winning three-pointer to lift the Hoyas to a 55-52 win over Louisville and clinching the Big East regular season title? 

Or will he, as Hoyas fans Witnessed all too often last season when, as a junior and the unquestioned team leader, displayed an unnerving tendency to vanish on the court when we needed him to show up the most?

Regardless of when he hears his name called tonight, it will finally close the book on the team that took Hoyas fans through that magical journey to the Final Four.  For that alone, perhaps we should look back at DaJuan's career and embrace it for the wonderful memories it brought us, and at least for one night, forget about what could have been.

Casually.