The Wolverine

January 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 51 of 67

52 THE WOLVERINE JANUARY 2021   MICHIGAN BASKETBALL "Coach Howard, he's always ready, he's always ready for the sud- den change. Anything that happens, he's gonna prepare us." — Clayton Sayfie AUSTIN DAVIS OUT INDEFINITELY WITH FOOT INJURY Michigan fifth-year senior center Austin Davis is out indefinitely with a foot injury suffered Dec. 9 against Toledo. U-M reported it's a plantar fascia injury in his right foot, one suffered during a non-contact movement while Davis was running to set a screen before having to hobble off the floor. He was also called for a phan- tom foul, despite not making contact with a Rocket defender on the play. "When he first started limping, my reaction was, 'What's wrong?'" head coach Juwan Howard said. "I'm not a doctor or trainer, so I didn't know if it was his knee, foot, ankle. I didn't know. There was a primary ball han- dler near me and I was trying to get our guys to run a play. "… I was confused when they called a foul … a lot going on in that one-, two-second span." While there has been no timetable released for a return, Davis began rehabbing with the team's head ath- letic trainer, Alex Wong. Howard is hopeful Davis can return before the end of the season. "While we are sad to have Austin suffer an injury right now, we were glad to hear that there is a possibility of his return at the appropriate time," Howard said. "We know Alex and all the members of the U-M medi- cal staff will take good care of 'Big Country.'" Davis had started the first five games of the season down low be- fore suffering the injury. The On- sted, Mich., native was averaging 6.0 points and 3.6 rebounds per outing. Howard made sure to point out that Davis' impact goes well beyond just his production on the floor, with the 6-10, 250-pounder being one of three captains on the squad. "They don't have leadership in a box score. That's first," Howard ex- plained. "Secondly, they don't have 'all in' in the box score. Austin is a coach on the floor … such a smart player, a giver … he's not about the cameras. "He feeds positive energy to the team. Now that we don't have him on the floor, we'll miss him a lot." The absence of the fifth-year se- nior has opened up opportunity, and a starting spot, for freshman center Hunter Dickinson, the team's leading scorer who has acclimated himself very well early in his college career. Dickinson has gone on record cred- iting Davis for mentoring him and helping him along. "I owe it to Austin Davis," Dick- inson said of his early season suc- cess. "Without him, there's no way I'd be playing this good. He pushes me as hard as anyone I've ever gone against in practice. "He's so experienced and I got a taste of what the Big Ten is like every day in practice. He's still in my ear during practice and during games, telling me what he sees out there. "He's helping me even more now and has so much to give. I listen as much as I can to him." Fellow captain and senior forward Isaiah Livers also recognized just how integral of a piece Davis is to the club. He knows that he and others will have to step up the leadership while Davis can only do so much from the bench. (Which, for Davis, is still a lot, with him constantly sup- porting his teammates and giving them pointers). "When a leader like that goes down, the captains have to speak up and be more vocal," Livers said. "Austin has continued to be a leader and will find ways to talk to the bigs in ways that I can't. "[Ever since Dickinson arrived], Austin was unselfishly coaching up a guy who could potentially take his spot — that's the kind of kid Austin Davis is." — Clayton Sayfie Davis was averaging 6.0 points and 3.6 rebounds per game while starting the first five con- tests this season, before suffering a plantar fascia injury in his right foot. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - January 2021