By Rich Ruben
USC announced this morning that the pause in men’s basketball activities will continue through next week. It was previously announced that Wednesday’s home game against USF has been cancelled due to a confirmed virus case. The conference opener last Sunday against Stanford was previously postponed to a date to be determined.
Today it was announced that next Sunday’s conference game at Oregon State is postponed and the final non conference home game against Texas Southern has been cancelled.
The Trojans will not make up the two non-conference games and they have completed non-conference play with a 4-1 record. Missing the USF and Texas Southern will mean little in USC’s ranking as the season continues. But the virus will nonetheless hurt the Trojans in several ways.
Team activity has been put on hold, costing a team composed mostly of new comers to lose valuable practice work. It will hurt freshmen Boubicar Coulibaly and Reese Waters especially, because these games might have provided opportunities for playing and practice time.
The postponement of the two conference games will also create problems for the team. The conference presently has directed that conference games impacted by COVID will be rescheduled. This will require the Trojans to squeeze in two more games in January or February allowing less time to prepare for at least a few games.
It can’t be a surprise that USC basketball has been impacted by the virus. Games across the country have been cancelled. Thinking ahead to March and the 68 team Tournament, the NCAA should be preparing for some teams being unable to play tournament games.