Georgetown coach John Thompson III insists DaJuan Summers will be a prolific scorer before his college career is over. He hopes that’s not all his game will be about.
Coming off another strong overall performance, the sophomore forward looks to help the fifth-ranked Hoyas remain undefeated when they host Jacksonville on Sunday.
For the second straight contest, the 6-foot-8 Summers led the Hoyas in scoring, posting a season-high 18 points while grabbing nine rebounds in Georgetown’s 70-60 victory over Alabama in Birmingham on Wednesday. Summers had 16 points in a 61-49 win over Fairfield on Dec. 1.
A likely capable replacement when senior preseason All-American Roy Hibbert moves on to the NBA, Summers appears ready to be more of a frontcourt presence for the Hoyas, who look to start 7-0 for the first time since 2003-04.
Summers is second behind Hibbert - who averages 14.3 points and 7.8 rebounds - with 10.3 points and 6.5 boards per game. He averaged 9.2 points and 3.7 rebounds while starting 34 games for the Hoyas’ 2006-07 Final Four team.
“He’s still a little anxious and he needs to relax a little bit and get into the flow and let the game come to him,” Thompson said of Summers. “It’s not the scoring, DaJuan is going to score a lot of points here, but it’s the other things that he can be extremely effective, and he’s slowly starting to take pride in other aspects of his game.”
Thompson was happy with Summers’ rebounding effort versus Alabama, which matched a season high, and that he has the potential to be a solid threat from 3-point range. Summers made a season-high three 3s in seven attempts against the Crimson Tide, and is shooting 36.4 percent (8-for-22) from beyond the arc overall.
“He hit some big shots and he got nine rebounds, which is something I have been harping on, because he is going to make some shots,” Thompson said. “That’s progress.”
Summers has a chance to progress further Sunday against Jacksonville (3-5), which is looking to avoid a sixth straight loss after opening the season with three straight wins.
Georgetown needed a late 14-1 run to put away Alabama, but likely won’t need a similar spurt in its second meeting with the Dolphins.
“This team is learning that we can slowly, methodically pull away if we stick with our stuff,” Thompson said. “We can wear people down in the last few minutes of the game.”
Jacksonville would be happy if Sunday’s contest remained competitive late as it plays the fourth in a stretch of six straight road games.
The Dolphins, picked to finish fifth in the Atlantic Sun by the conference’s coaches, lost at then-No. 10 Michigan State and two-time defending national champion Florida in a span of three days and are coming off a 52-50 defeat at American on Friday.
Sophomore Lehmon Colbert had 17 points Friday for the Dolphins, who committed 19 turnovers and were held scoreless the final three minutes. Jacksonville averages 18.5 turnovers per contest.
“For us to be successful, we’ve got to do a better job of taking care of the ball,” Jacksonville coach Cliff Warren said. “We’ve made way too many turnovers in the past couple of games and you can’t do that against these types of teams.
“Georgetown is a very good team, so we know that we have a big task in front of us.”
Sunday is the first meeting between these schools since Jacksonville won 41-24 via forfeit during the 1970-71 season.