Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect the newly released schedule following the postponements.
SMU will postpone both of its games this week after recording a positive COVID-19 case within the program, according to a press release sent out this morning.
The American Athletic Conference announced that SMU’s ensuing contact tracing from this positive case would force its games against Memphis, on Jan. 14, and Wichita State, on Jan. 17, to be postponed.
On Thursday, the conference announced SMU will now play Memphis on Jan. 26. The game against Wichita State is still in the process of being rescheduled.
Prior to the announcement, there were many COVID-19 questions surrounding these two games.
SMU played Cincinnati six days ago. Just yesterday, the Bearcats announced they would be shutting down their program for a week due to COVID-19 issues. It then became unclear if any SMU players would be contact traced or test positive from the close contact with Cincinnati on Jan. 7.
This is the second game that has been affected by COVID-19 for SMU. The AAC has postponed two games in just the last day. Commission Mike Aresco noted the number of games being postponed in college basketball is potentially a “concern” going forward.
“We’re doing the best we can to manage it, but there’s a heightened concern,” Aresco told the Cincinnati Enquirer yesterday. “In basketball, you’re playing indoors in a confined space. You’re in close contact the whole time.”
“We’re going to have to manage that. That’s why a few (positive) tests could really cause our pause in a way that maybe in football, you have so many more players, you can do the contact tracing and isolate and probably have a better chance to keep teams on the field, should you have some positives. But in basketball, it’s going to be much harder. It’s going to be a challenge, no question,” he finished.