After sitting out six games with a deep thigh bruise, Khari Price figured to have some stamina issues while returning to action Wednesday. But though he admitted to being winded at times, the freshman guard was having too much fun to take himself out of the playing mix.
“It felt great to finally be able to join my teammates on the floor again. It’s been a long three or four weeks off,” he said. “I felt like a kid in a candy store.”
Price played 16 minutes in Dayton’s 88-67 victory at Charlotte. And while he didn’t fill up the stat sheet, he knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and finished with seven points, one assist and no turnovers while playing his usual static-cling defense.
Coach Archie Miller has been pining for Price’s return with UD being down to just two healthy scholarship guards, and the 6-footer from Louisiana showed why he’s been missed so much.
“I can’t say enough about Khari. The guy hasn’t practiced in over a month, and he worked his way into the lineup and made one heckuva contribution,” Miller said.
“I have no idea how he did what he did. I worked him out after practice (Monday), and he could barely go through 15 minutes. To him, it’s gut-check time, and he’s a tough, little guy. If he’s not there, I don’t think we win the game. His 16 minutes meant everything to us.”
Price may never be a prolific scorer, but opponents tend to get burned when they lose track of him on defense.
He made both of his 3-point attempts against the 49ers and is 16-for-35 (45.7 percent) from beyond the arc this season. He’d be leading the Atlantic 10 in 3-point accuracy if he had enough attempts.
“My teammates — Kevin Dillard, Devin Oliver, Vee Sanford — they found me in transition for open 3’s, and that’s what we do. We practice that every day. We shoot the ball,” Price said. “I caught it in rhythm, I shot it, and it went in.”
His return means the Flyers don’t have to be concerned about giving Dillard and Sanford necessary breathers, and they can weather foul trouble in the backcourt because they operate just as well with Price on the floor.
“I just play for the guy next to me,” he said. “I just try to give it my all every time I step on the court. Basically, I just do it for my teammates. Whatever they need me to do, I do it to the best of my ability.”
Richmond (17-11, 7-6 Atlantic 10) at Dayton (15-12, 5-8), Time Warner Sports Channel, 95.7, 1290