Dayton Flyers coach Archie Miller moved sophomore forward Xeyrius Williams into the starting lineup Tuesday at Saint Louis in place of sophomore forward Ryan Mikesell, and he expects Williams to continue to start in the final weeks of the regular season.
“I think Xeyrius has really played well,” Miller said Thursday. “He’s made a lot of big plays for us. He’s given us a lot of energy on both ends of the floor. For whatever reason, in the first half, he’s started a little slower, so this is an attempt to get him going early in the game.”
Williams has averaged 3.4 points in 10.6 minutes in the first halves of games. In the second half, he’s averaging 4.3 points in 11.4 minutes.
Williams’ scoring has increased each month. He averaged 6.7 points in November, 7.1 in December and 8.3 in January. In the first four games in February, he has averaged 9.3 points, and he hit two of the biggest shots of the season Feb. 10 at Rhode Island. His two 3-pointers in the final 20 seconds carried UD to a 75-74 victory.
Mikesell started the first 24 games. He’s averaging 6.6 points. Miller talked to him about the switch. It’s not likely to change the total minutes of each player. Mikesell averages 23.2 minutes per game. Williams averages 22.
“Ryan’s a heck of a player, a heck of a team guy,” Miller said. “He knows his role won’t change.”