USC men’s basketball calls off next 3 games due to COVID-19 case

Home games Wednesday vs. San Francisco, Dec. 23 vs. Texas Southern canceled; game Sunday at Oregon State postponed

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USC men’s basketball will continue its pause of activities following a positive COVID-19 case, the program announced Tuesday.

The Trojans’ game Wednesday against San Francisco and their Dec. 23 contest against Texas Southern have been canceled as a result of the pause. USC’s game Sunday at Oregon State has been postponed.

That marks four games impacted by the single positive COVID-19 case among the Trojans. USC had one player test positive Sunday morning prior to USC’s scheduled Pac-12 opener against Stanford. That game was also postponed, and USC began contact tracing protocols.

As things currently stand, USC would not play again until a Dec. 31 game against Colorado, which would be 18 days after the initial positive test. USC is still following the Pac-12’s protocols that require at least a 10-day quarantine after a positive test and 14-day quarantines for players who are identified as high-risk individuals due to contact tracing.

The cancellations effectively end USC’s non-conference schedule, with the Trojans going 4-1, the most impressive win being over BYU and the loss to UConn.

The Pac-12 is working with USC to reschedule its games against Stanford and Oregon State for “mutually agreeable dates,” USC’s statement Tuesday read.

This was the type of scenario that USC head coach Andy Enfield, and coaches everywhere, dreaded during the preseason. Enfield got an up-close look at it in November, when the USC women’s basketball team was put into quarantine due to one positive case, putting an early end to the Trojan women’s training camp.

As Enfield noted at the time, USC has had to follow stricter guidelines than most programs around the country, not starting full practices until the fall due to California and Los Angeles County health guidelines.

“We live in a very conservative state, which is probably a good thing for the communities and the universities,” Enfield said at Pac-12 media day last month. “I sit around sometimes late at night and wake up in the middle of the night thinking, ‘Well, what happens if one person gets it? Does that just mean we’re done as a program for a full 14 days?’ “

As it turns out, that’s exactly what it meant in this instance.