Junior guard Peppers out two weeks with right leg injury

Central Michigan junior guard Gavin Peppers sits on the bench due to an injury prior to CMU's game against Buffalo on Feb. 6 at McGuirk Arena.

Throughout the course of the 2017-18 season, the Central Michigan men’s basketball team has faced minimal injuries, but will now be without one of its key role players. 

During practice this week, junior guard Gavin Peppers injured his right leg and has a boot on his foot. 

Peppers said he will be out of game action for two weeks and out of practice for one week. 

"It's not something we wanted to have happen," said CMU head coach Keno Davis. "Hopefully he gets better sooner than later and we are able to fill his position."

This season, the 6-foot-2, 194-pound guard from Brookeville, Maryland averages 6.1 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists for the Chippewas in 15.8 minutes per game. Peppers’ season-high 14 points came in a Dec. 16 loss to Southern Utah.

Prior to the injury, Peppers saw action in all 23 games.

Sitting out due to an injury is not something uncommon to Peppers, as he missed the 2016-17 season for Cleveland State with a torn Achilies tendon. 

“I’m a firm believer in 'everything happens for a reason' so it’s just a part of my journey and it’s made me a better person and someone who doesn't take stuff for granted,” Peppers said, regarding his injury at Cleveland State. 

Before making the move to Cleveland State, Peppers played two seasons at junior college schools – Olympic College in 2014-15 and Laramie County Community College in 2015-16.

During his time at Laramie County, the junior averaged 18.7 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. In the regular season finale against Northeastern Junior College, Peppers posted a career-high 39 points. 

“Coming from junior college and then not playing last year — it has been an adjustment I’ve never made before,” Peppers said. “Coming off the bench, I try to bring energy and shoot my shot when it’s there and mainly be a solid defensive guy.

“I like my role. It’s different, but I stay in the gym everyday just trying to increase my minutes.”

Coming into the season, Peppers, along with fellow junior transfer guard Shawn Roundtree was called on to help replace former guard Braylon Rayson and Marcus Keene. 

Without Peppers for two weeks, other members of the Chippewas will be called on to step up in his absence. 

"I think it gives a player like Matt Beachler an opportunity to get more minutes," Davis said. "It gives guys that were at the bottom of the rotation another opportunity." 

The only other Chippewas to face injuries this season were freshman guard Matt Beachler and sophomore guard Kevin McKay, who both missed a short amount of time at the beginning of the season.