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COVID-19 forces Delaware basketball to pause, call off 2 games

Kevin Tresolini
Delaware News Journal

COVID-19 has handed the University of Delaware men’s basketball team a preseason defeat.

Team activities have been paused, UD announced Tuesday, as a result of coronavirus testing results. Delaware has been practicing for a month.

The Blue Hens’ first two games of the 2020-21 season at the so-called “Bubbleville” at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, have been canceled.

Delaware was slated to play Massachusetts Nov. 27 and Siena Nov. 28.

Delaware head coach Martin Ingelsby gathers his team in a timeout late in the second half Delaware's 75-61 loss in a CAA tournament semifinal at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington D.C. in March.

When the Blue Hens return to practice depends on contact tracing and further testing, said team spokesman Kevin Tritt.

With basketball now in season, players, coaches, trainers, managers and others associated with the team are tested three times per week.

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“Our program has been diligently following guidelines and protocols since the summer, with no positive tests until this point,” coach Martin Ingelsby said in the school’s announcement. “COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout the country, and unfortunately our team has now been affected.

“The health and safety of everyone in our program and the local community remain our top priority. We will continue to follow all safety guidelines and look forward to resuming the preparation for our season when it is deemed safe.”

Delaware has not announced its nonconference schedule beyond the two Bubbleville games or how many, if any, fans would be permitted for home games. Tuesday’s announcement did mention “possible phased-in fan attendance subject to state and university health guidelines.”

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Other schools’ schedules have shown the Blue Hens playing at UMBC on Dec. 2, at Delaware State on Dec. 5 and at La Salle on Dec. 19.

The Colonial Athletic Association season commences Jan. 2 and 3 with home games against Charleston.

On Monday, it was announced that the entire 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament would be held in the Indianapolis area.

Have an idea for a compelling local sports story or is there an issue that needs public scrutiny? Contact Kevin Tresolini at ktresolini@delawareonline.com and follow on Twitter @kevintresolini. Support local journalism by subscribing to delawareonline.com.