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Amid Injuries and Illness, Davidson Keeps Fighting

If you happened to watch Davidson’s 83-79 win Tuesday night at home against Richmond, and the rotation seemed a little lighter than usual, you would be correct. Two nights ago, Davidson dressed 7 scholarship players, and only 9 total. While this might be a familiar sight for Dayton fans, it has been a long time since Davidson has been hit by something like this. The journey that led Davidson to those 9 players also weaves the tale of their season.

Start (17 Players):
With the NCAA allowed limit of 13 scholarship players, supplemented with 4 walk-ons, Davidson entered the offseason ready to defend their conference title from 2015.

Minus 1, Will Magarity (16 Players):
Magarity, a transfer from Boston College, was forced to sit out this year due to transfer rules. While many Atlantic 10 fans might not recognize his name now, they will have to take note come next season. The 6’11”, 240 lb., redshirt-sophomore from Stockholm, Sweden absolutely tore it up in Davidson’s “Red and Black Game” scrimmage this past fall. He will surely be a name to watch next season.

Minus 2, KiShawn Pritchett and Dusan Kovacevic (14 Players):
If Davidson’s team seemed to be same as last year’s, except without Tyler Kalinoski, you would be correct. The Wildcats brought in two great recruits, both of whom had to sit out this year with season ending injuries. Kovacevic, a 6’10” forward from Novi Sad, Serbia will add some front court depth along with Magarity. Pritchett, from nearby Lake Norman, North Carolina, has been described as an athletic 6’6” “do it all” guard who can play a variety of positions on the floor.

Minus 1, Connor Perkey (13 Players):
Perkey, a senior walk-on from Atlanta, Georgia, has also been held out this year due to a season ending injury.

Minus 1, Jake Belford (12 Players):
Belford, a good shooting big man from Battle Ground, Washington, has unfortunately had to retire from basketball due to concussions. He received a medical redshirt in the 2014-15 season, and was poised for a comeback this year when he took an elbow to the head during Davidson’s 6th game against North Carolina. While his basketball days are over, Belford has still remained an active “coach” on the sidelines this year, motivating his teammates towards victory. He will always be remember by Wildcat fans as the guy who could hit the trailing three pointer, a McKillop offensive staple.

Minus 3, Jack Gibbs, Jordan Barham, Matt Williams (9 Players):
The plague must have struck Davidson, as these three players (and one coach and Magarity) missed the Tuesday tilt with Richmond due to illness. Hopefully there is a quick remedy for the ill Wildcats, as they have a big game Saturday against St. Joseph’s.

Despite being down 8 men, Davidson responded with a huge statement win against Richmond. The recent openings in the lineup have allowed players like Rusty Reigel and Nate Ekwu to make statements, and allowed for Peyton Aldridge and Brian Sullivan to continue dominating – even if they both had to play 40 minutes on Tuesday. As Davidson looks towards the final stretch of the season, and towards next season, they have to be happy to see all their players return, but perhaps a bit pleased with the performance of the rest of their lineup in their absence.