Archie Miller on UD injuries: ‘I really am tired of it’

Charles Cooke dunks in the first half. David Jablonski/Staff

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Charles Cooke dunks in the first half. David Jablonski/Staff

Dayton coach candid with his comments after seeing Kyle Davis sprain ankle

Dayton Flyers coach Archie Miller spotted a reporter in the hallway at PPG Paints Arena after a 76-57 victory Saturday over Duquesne and answered the question he knew was coming before it was asked.

“It’s an ankle sprain,” Miller said. “I don’t know how long.”

Miller knows the drill at this point. He faced the postgame questions after Josh Cunningham tore a ligament in his ankle Nov. 15 at Alabama. He experienced similar circumstances Dec. 30 when Charles Cooke left a game against La Salle with a back injury. On Saturday, it happened again.

Kyle Davis fell off the court, tripped over some cheerleaders and sprained his ankle with 7:27 to play in the second half. Trainers carried him to the locker room. He didn’t return.

The Flyers have seen so many teammates go down, they were unfazed by this latest injury.

“We’re so used to it,” point guard Scoochie Smith said. “It’s natural. We’ve just got to be ready.”

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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The Flyers bounced back from a loss at UMass with a 76-57 win on Jan. 14, 2017, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

On the first possession after the injury, Charles Cooke scored to push Dayton’s lead to 58-47. Smith then converted a turnover into a fast-break layup.

The Flyers soon had breathing room after a few tense moments. They never trailed but saw a 13-point halftime lead trimmed to six in the first five minutes of the second half.

Dayton (13-4, 4-1) bounced back from its worst performance of the season, a 67-55 loss Wednesday at Massachusetts. This was the Flyers’ most lopsided victory at Duquesne, either at PPG Paints Arena or the Palumbo Center, since an 88-44 victory in 2002.

As dominant as Dayton was, the focus after the game was on Davis. On Twitter, he wrote, “Another great road win for the team. Love these guys. Now let’s get back to work.” Fans asked him about his condition. He wrote, “I’ll be back next game.”

Davis is never short on optimism, and fans would never doubt his determination. Miller provided a less biased report and candid comments about his injury fatigue. He was asked if he was tired of dealing with the conflicting emotions of celebrating a victory while dealing with an injury.

“I am. Yeah, I am,” Miller said. “I can push it off to the side and say, ‘No excuses,’ and all that, but I really am tired of it. I feel bad for a guy like Kyle. He’s had such a great year. He’s worked so hard. Hopefully, it’s just an ankle, and hopefully he gets back to the floor. If he doesn’t, we know what to do. He’s the heart and soul of what we do. If there’s a guy who’s going to work hard to get back to the floor, it’ll be him, but when that is, I don’t know.”

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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The Flyers rebound from loss at UMass with 76-57 win over Dukes in Pittsburgh on Jan. 14, 2017.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Davis scored two points in 25 minutes one game after scoring 16 at UMass. He was the only player with a good stat line in that game.

What Davis does goes far beyond the box score, and Miller and everyone who watches the Flyers knows it. If he’s out for any length of time, it will hurt.

That doesn’t mean the Flyers won’t win. They went 3-0 without Cooke, and he looked more like his normal self against Duquesne. Cooke scored nine points and had seven turnovers at UMass. He scored 19 points and had four turnovers (all in the first half) against the Dukes.

Xeyrius Williams added 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Scoochie Smith made 5 of 8 shots from the floor and scored 12. Kendall Pollard had eight points and nine rebounds.

Dayton’s defense and Duquesne’s sloppiness played the biggest part in the outcome. Duquesne committed 22 turnovers. Dayton scored 27 points off those turnovers and outscored Duquesne 19-4 in fast-break points.

“Anytime you’ve got a back-to-back when you’re on the road and you don’t do well in the first one, it can put you up against the wall a little bit,” Miller said. “I thought our guys responded nicely the last couple of days. We’ve got a lot of respect for Duquesne. We were very concerned about being able to defend them. In the first half, our offense was pretty good. We got fouled a lot, and being able to get to the foul line hurt their rhythm because they had guys out.

“In the second half, give them credit. They made a nice shot right out of the gate. We weren’t ready to go. Then we were able to make some plays. A lot of different guys made them.”


THURSDAY’S GAME

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