Nebraska announced that Jan. 30’s home game against Penn State has been postponed. The program has been on pause since Jan. 11.
Nebraska announced on Sunday that 12 Tier 1 individuals including seven players and Coach Fred Hoiberg had tested positive and were in isolation.
“People need to understand that our protocols in all of our sports are very strict and our student-athletes, coaches and staff have been very disciplined,” Athletic Director Bill Moos said on Sports Nightly on Thursday night. “The problem with men’s basketball is we were so clean. There were no antibodies within the program. I like to use a term ‘a bucket of kindling fearing a match hitting it’ and that’s just exactly what happened.”
True freshman center Eduardo Andre missed the first six games of the season after contracting COVID-19, and Yvan Ouedraogo’s positive test led to Nebraska’s game against Purdue on Jan. 5 getting postponed. None of the current positive cases have been identified other than Hoiberg. According to Big Ten protocols, players have to sit out a minimum of 17 days before getting cleared to return to competition.
In the release, Nebraska said the Huskers plan to return to the court on Feb. 3 against Michigan State. If that plan holds true, the Huskers will have postponed six games. Nebraska said it will work with the conference and its opponents to reschedule as many of those games as possible.
“You’re in a confined space, pushing and shoving and sweating on each other,” Moos said. “It’s a petri dish. We are not alone in the Big Ten or around the country. Fortunately, in contrast with football, we have opportunities in both basketball to reschedule some of these games. You don’t need a full week off like you do in football. So we have windows in which we can play games that have been canceled and there have been a few in the conference. That’s a positive note.”
Nebraska is 4-8 overall this season included 0-5 in Big Ten play. Junior forward Derrick Walker made his debut and scored 10 points in Nebraska’s 84-76 loss to Indiana, the team’s last game before hitting pause.
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.