The Villanova men’s basketball team is again pausing all basketball related activities after two positive tests within the program, the school announced Monday. The third-ranked Wildcats (8-1) returned to practice on Sunday for the first time after head coach Jay Wright tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 27.
Wright: ‘Tough time’ for our program
Wright explained the situation and dates up to this point, though the future is uncertain at the moment.
“We are obviously going through a tough time right now in our program,” Wright said, via Villanova. “We had quarantined for 10 days with nine consecutive days of negative tests for all players. On the 11th day of our quarantine we practiced together, for the first time (Sunday). We test every day before practice. So, today we were getting ready to practice and head to DePaul this afternoon, and we learned we had two positive tests from players. That immediately shuts us down and puts us into a 10-day quarantine at least. That's what we know exactly at this time. We're in that mode of trying to figure that out.”
Wright tested positive on Dec. 26 in a situation that “had nothing to do with the players — it was me,” he said. The last time the group was together was Dec. 23 for a game against Marquette, so the quarantine period was backdated until then.
“The players went into quarantine while I was in isolation,” Wright said. “We had them in a hotel in individual rooms from the 26th to Jan. 2. They were isolated. No players did anything wrong. A couple of staff members tested positive on the 26th and 27th but they weren't with the players. The virus can show itself within 14 days so that’s is something we are looking at.”
Health officials and hospitals around the country are seeing surges in the number of COVID-19 cases after people gathered for the holidays. It’s been nine days since Christmas Day and four since New Year’s Eve, both inside the infectious window.
Villanova’s next three games postponed
Because of the positive tests, the Big East announced that the team’s next three games are postponed.
Villanova was to play at DePaul on Tuesday, at home against Marquette on Friday, and on the road against Xavier on Jan. 13. The Xavier game was already rescheduled from Jan. 2 after Wright had tested positive and the team went into quarantine.
The Wildcats haven’t played since Dec. 23. The next game on the schedule is Jan. 15 against UConn. If they can play it, and if there are no additions made to the schedule, it would be a layoff of more than three weeks in the middle of the season.
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