Michigan State's Senior Night Tribute: Durrell Summers' Top 10 Games
One could say that Durrell Summers' career at Michigan State has been filled with more ups and downs than any other player in recent Spartan history. The 6'5" guard from Detroit has had some absolutely astonishing games while donning the green and white. Tabbed as an exceptional athlete and streaky shooter, Summers cast himself into the limelight as he blew away the competition in last year's NCAA tournament, earning Midwest Regional MVP honors.
With "sky's the limit" potential, many analysts saw Summers as a potential first-round draft pick in the NBA. Unfortunately this season, his shots stopped falling and his confidence has swooned.
Even though his star may have fallen just as quick as it rose, there is no doubt Durrell Summers' legacy in East Lansing won't soon be forgotten.
Let's take a look at the top 10 games of Durrell Summers' memorable career.
Writer's Note: Unfortunately I was not able to find images from every game, my sincere apologies.
Durrell Summers' Debut: 11/13/2007, 86-53 Win over Chicago State
As a highly touted freshman, Durrell Summers burst on the scene with an impressive performance. In his first game in front of the "Izzone", Summers came off the bench to score 12 points and grab six rebounds. Perhaps the most impressive stats from his initial outing were that he was 5-of-7 shooting, including 2-of-2 from beyond the arc.
1/25/2009: Spartans Down Buckeyes Behind Summers' 26 Points
Durrell Summers' first game of scoring 20 points or more would be a memorable one. The sophomore avenged his previous outing against Ohio State (only scoring five points) to have his first breakout game. Durrell tallied 26 points and four rebounds. It also gave us a glimpse into the future with this streaky shooting. Summers buried six three-point bombs against the Buckeyes and helped Michigan State improve its 2009 Big Ten record to 6-1.
4/4/2009: Summers Helps Slam the Spartans into the National Finals
The 2009 Final Four game against Connecticut was a memorable one for Spartan fans. Their journey to Detroit for the Final Four was powered by the passion and motivation from the men in green. The Spartans turned in a complete team effort to win 82-73 and advance to only the third National Championship in school history.
Summers may have only scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds, but his emphatic fast break slam over Stanley Robinson is the iconic image that will remain in Spartan lore for years to come.
11/17/2009: Summers Helps Spartans Down the 'Zags
Expectations had started to grow for the junior after the previous year's solid play in the NCAA tournament. Summers didn't disappoint. In a marquee early season game, Durrell led the Spartans to a highly contested 75-71 victory over the visiting Gonzaga Bulldogs by scoring 21 points (9-of-10 shooting) and grabbing 11 rebounds. Summers' double-double performance left Spartan fans giddy over the potential of their blossoming swing man.
1/26/2010: Summers' Double-Double Helps Spartans Tame Wolverines
In a game that is remembered for Kalin Lucas' heroics just before the buzzer, Durrell chipped in 10 points and 10 rebounds in a game where points were at a premium. The 57-56 victory over the arch-rival Wolverines propelled the Spartans to a 8-0 Big Ten start and would eventually help the Spartans to their second consecutive Big Ten championship.
1/30/2010: Second Straight Double-Double Leads Spartans to Victory over NW
The Spartans continued their early dominance of the Big Ten by defeating Northwestern, 79-70. Durrell Summers collected his second straight double-double, and it may have been the first glimpse towards the streaky play we would see in the NCAA tournament. Durrell scored 24 points (on 11-of-17 shooting) and grabbed 10 rebounds for the second straight game.
NCAA 2nd Round: Summers Scoring and Lucious' Heroics Send MSU to Sweet 16
We all remember last year's wild game against Maryland. The Spartans seemed to have control over the No. 4 seed Terrapins, but as word of Kalin Lucas' Achilles tendon spread throught the gymnasium, the Spartans found themselves in a dog fight.
With Lucas gone, Summers picked up the slack and began his memorable tournament run by tying his career high of 26 points. Summers had the hot hand and led the Spartans with six three-point baskets.
Luckily for the Spartans, Summers' teammate Korie Lucious left fans with one of the most exciting moments of the tournament with his three-pointer as time expired to send the Spartans to yet another Sweet 16.
NCAA Sweet 16: Summers Helps Spartans Knock off Cinderella
Fresh off of their gutsy victory over top-seeded Kansas, Northern Iowa was ready to continue its role as spoiler. Luckily for the Spartan faithful, Durrell Summers was in the midst of a three-week tear as one of the hottest players in the country.
Summers continued to make up for Kalin Lucas' absence by burying another four three-pointers and finishing the game with 19 points while grabbing seven rebounds.
The Spartans battled for a 59-52 victory over the Panthers, setting up an Elite Eight showdown with ultra-athletic Tennessee.
After another outstanding performance, you couldn't watch CBS's telecast of the tournament without hearing Summers' name being praised.
NCAA Elite Eight: Never-Ending Summers
Summers continued his mastery of NCAA tournament foes with another superstar effort. In this highly contested game that wasn't decided until Raymar Morgan's free throw with under two seconds left, Summers picked up right where he had left off the two previous games.
Name the Midwest Regional MVP, Summers capped off the first four rounds with another impressive shooting effort. Durrell scored 21 points (on 4-of-6 shooting from behind the arc and 8-of-10 from the free throw line) and grabbed four rebounds.
The Spartans were on to their second consecutive Final Four, where they would lose to eventual national runners-up Butler.
Summers continued his stellar play against the Bulldogs (14 points, 10 rebounds) but faced stifling defense throughout the game.
12/18/2010: Waiting on a Summers Day
After coming off his dominant performance in the NCAA tournament and flirting with the thought of the NBA, Summers was primed and ready to make the most of his senior season. Summers started the season strong, scoring in double figures in 14 of the Spartans' first 15 games, and pinnacled with a 25-point (4-of-6 three-pointers), six-rebound effort against Prairie View A&M.
Unfortunately for Summers, he became the microcosm of Michigan State as a whole. With all of the national attention and preseason hype came disappointment and frustration as the Spartans have stumbled throughout the season.
Chances are the Spartans will make their 14th consecutive NCAA tournament this year, but without the play of Durrell Summers, the duration of their stay will undoubtedly be shortened.
Thanks for the memories, Durrell. Let's hope there are a few more games that were as outstanding as the ones on this list before you end your career as a Spartan.