WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita State’s men’s basketball team were riding on a five-game winning streak with their biggest win recently against conference opponent Houston — now ranked No. 12. But complications arose when SMU postponed back-to-back games due to COVID-19 tracing within their program.
“We’re going to try to have some really good practices,” said WSU Interim Head Coach Isaac Brown, “We called a couple of Big East schools, a school in the SEC, trying to get games, a team in the Mountain West — we weren’t able to do that.”
It becomes a sticky situation for WSU to select what team to play. With the NCAA tournament in March, the Shockers have to replace the games to help boost their resume.
“They’ll say they need a game and then it comes down to who wants to travel — some of the teams want to play, but they feel like they may need to play a team with a higher NET ranking,” explained Brown,
“Some teams want to play, but they may not get the game on a date that we want. I’m just trying to find games, Brown said. “We need a game this week, that’d be great. I don’t want these guys to get rusty or have to sit out an entire week before we play our next game.”
For the third time this season, SMU postponed their game against WSU. It has become the ninth game since conference play began.
“You know, it’s something you can’t control. I feel sorry for all the teams that had to cancel for COVID, we went through the same situation,” Brown said.
“We went to South Dakota, these kids are practicing and all of a sudden, the next day they got COVID so as an athlete, you’re on the front line or coach you’re on the front line so when things like this happen, it’s out of our control,” Brown said. “All we can do is just not take a setback, continue to get better and just control what we can control, we’ve got to stay sharp, we’ve got to stay in tip-top shape and just got to keep getting better,” he continued.
If the Shockers don’t schedule any games soon, they have a chance of sitting idle for nearly two weeks before hitting the road to take on Tulane on March 3.
“I think the kids are more disappointed than anything because this time of year you’ve been practicing pretty much since June or July, and those guys want to play in games,” said Brown.
“But I think it hurts you at times, but we don’t want to have any setbacks — we have a lot to lose,” Brown said. “So I told the guys, no matter what the situation is, we’ve got to continue to be sharp, we’ve got to continue to get better, and we’ve got to continue to take care of ourselves off the court.”
The Shockers next scheduled game is slated for a 5 p.m. tipoff in New Orleans on Wednesday, March 3.