Flyers try to survive injury bug

BY foxsports • January 17, 2012


Injuries continue to plague Dayton, which
already has lost a starting forward (Josh Benson) for the rest of the
season and could be down another (Chris Johnson) from time to time the
rest of the way.

Luke Fabrizius, who started the year
as a backup but has since moved into a starting role, and key reserve
Alex Gavrilovic also have missed games because of
injuries.

The Flyers' injury list is taking on the
appearance a football team's report.

"We've been
dealing with our share all season," said coach Archie Miller, whose
Flyers get a little break with seven days between games as they get
ready for a trip down I-75 to Xavier. "We've had games where guys have
missed games -- Fabrizius has missed three, Gavrilovic has missed three,
we lost Benson, and C.J. now has basically played about a half in the
last two games.

"We've just got to keep staying with
it and moving forward into the season. We're really going to be smart
with how we practice and try to manage it the best we
can."

So far, the Flyers have handled the situation
well.

Their win over La Salle on Jan. 14 left them at
13-5 overall and 3-1 in the Atlantic 10 Conference, tied with Xavier and
Massachusetts for the early lead.

NOTES,
QUOTES

Kavanaugh comes through against
Explorers

--Junior F Matt Kavanaugh continues to step
up his game for Dayton. He had a career-high 23 points in the 79-75 win
over La Salle and added nine rebounds.

He was
particularly clutch down the stretch, scoring 17 of his points in the
second half. He was 13-for-14 from the free-throw line for the game,
both career highs.

In the last three games through
Jan. 14, Kavanaugh had scored 47 points and recovered 17 rebounds to
raise his season averages to 8.6 and 5.8, respectively. The latter
figure led the team.

--Though he played 17 minutes in
Dayton's win over La Salle, senior F Chris Johnson is still a
"day-to-day kind of guy," coach Archie Miller said, because of a head
injury sustained in practice and that kept him out of the St.
Bonaventure game on Jan. 11.

Miller played Johnson in
the first half Jan. 14, and Johnson responded with five points and five
rebounds, but the forward wasn't ready to start the second
half.

"At that point, it was a coach's decision, and I
held him out in the second half. Whether he wanted to play or not, I
wasn't going to play him," Miller said. "I didn't think he felt real
well."

Johnson, who was averaging 10.3 points and 5.5
rebounds a game through Jan. 14, will be on "strict observation as we
move through the rest of the season," Miller
said.

--Dayton led wire to wire in its 79-75 win over
La Salle but saw a 15-point lead with under 15 minutes left get whittled
down to three with under two minutes remaining.

La
Salle missed a 3-pointer that would have tied it with under 10 seconds
left, and Josh Parker was fouled after getting the rebound. He hit one
of two free throws to clinch it.

BY THE NUMBERS: 80.0
percent -- Freshman F Alex Gavrilovic had gone 16-for-20 from the field
through four conference games. His 80.0 percent shooting led the A-10
for conference games through Jan. 14. In all games, he was shooting 56.9
percent from the field.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I want to get
our legs fresh and our minds fresh for our game on Saturday against
Xavier." -- Coach Archie Miller, on handling the midweek bye in the
schedule.

STRATEGY AND
PERSONNEL

THIS WEEK'S GAMES

--vs.
Xavier, Jan. 21

KEY MATCHUPS: The Musketeers have
gotten things back together since the post-brawl suspensions. Freshman F
Dezmine Wells gives the Musketeers a third scoring option to go with Tu
Holloway and Mark Lyons in the backcourt. Dayton figures to have a
problem handling the physical presence of 7-foot Kenny Frease
inside.

FUTURES MARKET: Freshman F Alex Gavrilovic is
providing Dayton with some much-needed help inside since the loss of F
Josh Benson to a knee injury. Gavrilovic, who missed three games earlier
with an ankle injury, came off the bench and had nine points in 15
minutes in the win over La Salle. He had 10 points in the previous
outing against St. Bonaventure. Overall, he had scored 37 points in the
first four games Benson missed. That was more than half his season
total.

PLAYER NOTES

--Junior G Kevin
Dillard handed out seven assists against La Salle, giving him 31
through four A-10 games. His 7.8 average led the league in statistics
for conference games only through Jan. 14.

--Senior F
Luke Fabrizius had averaged 10.4 points in five games since returning
from a rib injury that sidelined him for three games in December.
Fabrizius had a season-high 14 points in the win over La
Salle.


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