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January 15, 2006PONTIAC, Mich. - Durrell Summers was a busy man this past weekend. After leading his Redford Covenant ballclub to a 16-point win on Friday night with Michigan State coach Tom Izzo in attendance, the state's top-ranked prep basketball player never left the floor in a Saturday afternoon game against Waterford Kettering.
Redford Covenant trailed by 12 points at the break, but Summers led the Spartans to a 58-52 victory by scoring 18 points in the third quarter and hitting clutch free throws down the stretch in the fourth quarter.
Summers finished with 32 points, 16 rebounds, and 4 assists in the win. Afterward, he was more excited about the rebounds and assists than his team-high 32 points. Summers was named MVP of game two at the fourth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Basketball Classic hosted by Pontiac Northern.
"The points are going to be there," Summers said. "My teammates need me to score, but I am more worried about things other than scoring. Someday, a team is going to come along and try to shut me down with a box-and-one. That's why I need to have my teammates involved."
Summers scored just 8 points in the opening half. But four of those points came on spectacular alley-oop dunks to begin and end the half.
"We needed him to be aggressive and he wasn't in the first half," said Redford Covenant coach Durand Shepherd. "In the second half, I told Durrell and all of the guys that they needed to take it at Kettering. To their credit, they did that. Friday night was a long night; we didn't get back till after midnight and the guys were sluggish in the first half against Kettering."
Summers said he didn't even realize that his team was down by 12 points to Kettering until he got in the locker room. "I thought we were ahead," he said. "I guess I still hadn't quite recovered from last night."
Summers challenged himself at the break. "I just looked in the mirror and said, 'this isn't the way you play basketball.' I wasn't playing the way I was taught to play. The second half was a fresh start for us."
Redford Covenant fed off Summers in the second half. "He needs to score 30 points for us to win most ballgames," Shepherd said. "If he is scoring like that, he is also getting teammates involved."
Summers added: "If I turn up the energy it my teammates follow. That is my role on the team."
IZZO PAYS SUMMERS A VISIT
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was in the crowd for Redford Covenant's game on Friday night. Summers was glad to see the Spartan head coach, but he was disappointed that he missed throwing down a dunk in traffic.
"I was tired and it was kind of embarrassing," said Summers, who is arguably the most athletic in-state player in the Class of 2007. "Coach Izzo was joking, but he told me afterward that he pulls scholarship offers when guys miss dunks like that. It was pretty funny."
Michigan State is putting the full-court press on for Summers. "He said that they are waiting on me," said Summers, who has already been getting friendly pressure from close friend Kalin Lucas to commit to Michigan State.
Summers doesn't feel pressure because he has been made such a high priority by the Spartans. He does, however, feel flattered by all of the attention.
"When they say that (they are waiting on me), I just think about how much time they have put into me," said Summers. "I look at it as a positive. And then I think about the other schools. I am going to be fair with everybody, but everybody knows that Michigan State kind of has the edge right now."
Lucas, the nation's No. 28 ranked player according to Rivals.com, committed to the Spartans shortly after Christmas. Summers and Lucas have played summer ball together in The Family since eighth grade. The two would like to play together in college.
"I don't think Durrell is going to commit to Michigan State because Kalin is going to go there," said Shepherd. "If he commits, he's going to do so because it is the best situation for him."
Summers is thinking about committing within the next month.
"Basically, I just want to get it off my mind," Summers said. "If I am feeling a school that much, I am going to do it before the season is over."
Michigan State and Syracuse are the to schools on top of Summers' list. But he admits that Michigan State has the advantage right now.
LUCAS, SUMMERS, ALLEN?
If Summers joins Lucas in the Spartans' 2007 class, Georgia shooting guard Chris Allen could soon follow.
"Chris called me right before the game today," said Summers. "He told me how much he wanted to play basketball with me and Kalin."
Allen is currently ranked No. 84 in the junior class by Rivals.com. But he could shoot up the list of Top 100 juniors if he continues his hot play this summer. Summers has emerged as one of the nation's top shooters and he is making big strides in strengthening his all-around game.
Summers said that he and Allen have begun talking frequently. The two will get a chance to talk face to face at the Iowa game next Saturday. "Kalin and Chris are going to be there," Summers said. "I am going to be up there too."
SUMMERS VIDEO FROM MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. CLASSIC
First Half Highlights
Second Half Highlights
Spartanmag.com will have more highlights from the Fourth Annual Pontiac Northern Martin Luther King Jr. Classic, including video footage of Josh Southern leading Saginaw High past Michigan commitment Alex Legion and Detroit Country Day in coming days.
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