LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - For the second straight Saturday, the UofL men’s basketball team will be off.
Last week the Cards (11-4, 6-3 ACC) had their game postponed due to COVID issues at Boston College. This week, COVID has caught up to the Cards again.
After a pause in the summer and another in early December, the latest forced the postponement of Wednesday nights game Syracuse and a scheduled visit to #14 Virginia on Saturday.
“So we test on Tuesday night to certify the Georgia Tech game, we practice, we fly to Syracuse and then eventually that night, when the lab results come back, we had a positive. It’s a fickle thing and you sort of never know how this is going to affect your program,” UofL head coach Chris Mack said.
The team flew home from Syracuse on Wednesday, but a few members of the travelling party, including the one who tested positive, and a few tied up in contact tracing, had to be driven back.
“One guy on your team, with who he gets contact traced to, can essentially wipe out four of five guys, even if they don’t get the virus. In our case, we’ve had some guys that have already had it, but outside the 90 day window, they’re still subject to contact tracing,” Mack added.
When can the Cards return to practice, even if they’ll be shorthanded?
“As long as no one is positive on people that people that aren’t on the contact tracing form, we can return to practice, but again, we’re gonna be missing a few players, simply because of contact tracing,” Mack said.
The latest case comes just a day after the Cards played a game against Georgia Tech that had been postponed from January 9, due to COVID issues within the Yellow Jackets program.
So now the Cards have four games to make up. Home games against N.C. State and Boston College, along with the two road games from last week.
“The league can aide in trying to help, but you know really it comes down to contacting other schools and seeing if there is a mutual date,” Mack said on Inside the Cards on WAVE 3 News. “I know in our case with Georgia Tech, Josh Pastner reached out and said, hey we both play on Saturday, which eventually we didn’t because of Boston College, we both play on Wednesday, any way that we can play that game on Monday, and so we agreed to it at the time, but again, certain schools, they’re playing games within their schedule, so it really depends on the other teams. Sometimes you have an opening for a week, and sometimes teams don’t, you know that you need to make it up with. That’s why we opted to help the league out by moving up our Clemson game. We weren’t necessarily happy about it, but we’re trying to get as many games in as we can.”
For now the Cards are scheduled to return to the court on Wednesday night at 9 p.m hosting Pittsburgh (9-5, 5-4). With three scholarship players sidelined with injuries and others out due to contact tracing, playing that game on Wednesday could be a challenge.