Positive COVID-19 tests pause Billikens men’s basketball program

Sports

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Positive COVID-19 results have paused the Saint Louis University men’s basketball program on the day the Billikens were supposed to begin conference play. A post on the Billikens website says that the Atlantic 10 Conference will announce all changes to the Billikens’ upcoming A-10 schedule.

Athletic Director Chris May told FOX 2 on Wednesday that the team gets PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing three times a week and that multiple positives came from tests conducted on Dec. 28. The positive tests within their tier 1 group, which includes players, coaches, and staff. 

However, May would not specify the number of positive tests or individuals involved.

These tests were administered on Monday and SLU learned about the results early Wednesday morning. 

The basketball program will go on a two-week pause of all activities, with those affected put into isolation and quarantine in line with campus and St. Louis City protocols.

The Billikens were supposed to open up Atlantic 10 play at Chaifetz Arena against Duquesne Wednesday night.

While focused on the health and well-being of those in the program, May described the development as a “short-term bump” and that the pause would not define the team moving forward.

“The next two weeks are so unbelievably critical that we have everybody separated and we get through this because if we do, everybody knows we’ve got a really successful and competitive men’s basketball team and so it’s all how do we put them in the best position from today moving forward,” May told FOX2 Sports Director Martin Kilcoyne. “Everybody’s frustrated, but you know what, it’s ok, we’ll get through this and we’ll be back to playing in no time.”

All games will be made up, May said. If the Billikens can return immediately following the 14-day pause, the first scheduled game they’d be able to play is Friday, Jan. 15 at home versus Davidson.

As of now, SLU’s first four Atlantic 10 games would be postponed.

It is unclear how the Atlantic 10 Conference will reschedule lost games.

If enough games have to be made up, May said one option could include going into a “mini-bubble,” similar to what the NBA and NHL did this past season.

You can watch the full with Chris May below:

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