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Mikesell on injured Dayton teammate Matos: ‘I know exactly how he feels’

Junior guard from Dominican Republic will miss rest of season

If anyone can provide comfort to Jhery Matos as he watches the rest of the season from the Dayton Flyers bench, it’s redshirt junior forward Ryan Mikesell, who sat out last season after undergoing two hip surgeries.

Matos found out Monday he will have to undergo season-ending surgery to repair torn ligaments in his foot. He suffered the injury in the second half against Oklahoma on Nov. 23 in the third-place game at the Battle 4 Atlantis.

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Mikesell said Matos was surprised to discover how serious the injury was. He continued to play on the injured foot but was favoring it in the final minutes of that game and was struggling to walk after the game, Mikesell said.

Matos, a junior guard will earn a medical redshirt because he played in only six games, but the long rehab ahead will be difficult.

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“I know exactly how he feels,” said Mikesell on Tuesday after a 98-59 victory over Detroit Mercy at UD Arena. “Me and Jhery are really good friends. I’m going to continue to talk to him and make sure his mind’s in the right place because you start sitting out and you start seeing your teammates — the guys you work out with, the guys you grinded with all summer — and you can’t be out there with them. It’s tough.”

Schedule news: Dayton will play Colorado on Dec. 21, 2019, in the Chicago Legends event at the United Center. UD announced the game Tuesday. Cincinnati will play Iowa in the other game of the doubleheader.

This will be Dayton’s first game in Chicago since it played Northwestern on Dec. 17, 2016, at the United Center. Dayton lost that game 67-64.

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Colorado finished 17-15 last season and is off to a 5-1 start this season. It played in the NCAA tournament four times in a five-year stretch from 2011-2016.

Colorado’s leading scorer this season is former Dayton recruit McKinley Wright IV (14.8 points per game). He committed to Dayton when Archie Miller was the head coach but switched to Colorado after the hiring of Grant.

Around the A-10: Davidson improved to 8-1 with a 99-81 victory at home against Winthrop (4-4) on Tuesday. The Wildcats have won five straight games.

La Salle fell to 0-9 with a 92-79 loss at home to Bucknell (4-3).

Looking ahead: Dayton plays at No. 8 Auburn (7-1) at 8:30 p.m. Saturday (SEC Network). Auburn beat UNC Asheville 67-41 on Tuesday. It has three victories over teams ranked in the top 60 of the Ken Pomeroy rankings: 88-66 over No. 52 Washington; 88-79 at No. 57 Xavier; and 73-57 over No. 47 Arizona.

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