Clemson hopeful basketball program can get back to playing soon

Clemson hopeful basketball program can get back to playing soon

Basketball

Clemson hopeful basketball program can get back to playing soon

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Tigers were taken off the floor, program paused before practice last Friday

Brad Brownell is hopeful Clemson’s home game against Virginia this Saturday will be played after the 19th-ranked Tigers had to pause their program last Friday due to a positive COVID result within the program.

The Clemson head coach said they have tested every day, including Monday, since pulling the players off the court before Friday’s practice and pausing all team activities.

“We are testing every day and we are hopeful that if we continue to get negative test, which we have gotten mostly here the last couple of days, and again today, that possibly Tuesday or Wednesday we can get back to practice,” Brownell said.

Clemson, of course, did not do much Saturday and Sunday, as Brownell gave his players time off to kind of get their minds wrapped around everything that was happening.

“I think we have had a couple of days of good testing and so, I think, if everything goes well again today, they are going to let the guys go in the gym and shoot a little bit. But just like one guy at a time,” he said. “Then, obviously, we get our test back the next day and if things are good, hopefully, guys are going to be able to practice.”

Clemson (9-1, 3-1 ACC) has not heard when their games at North Carolina and at Syracuse will be rescheduled. The Tigers were supposed to play at UNC this past Saturday and were scheduled to play at Syracuse on Tuesday.

“I am sure we are all just kind of waiting to see what happens and if there are openings. How it all works, I don’t really know,” Brownell said.

It has been a disappointing couple of days for the men’s basketball program. Clemson was coming off a dramatic 74-70 overtime victory over a good NC State team last Tuesday and was confident it could go into Chapel Hill and win for a second straight year over the Tar Heels.

“We have been playing well. We have won (four) in a row. We are coming off a great win and we were just excited to go to Chapel Hill and play North Carolina,” Brownell said. “Our kids were really disappointed on Friday when we took them off the court and said, ‘Hey, we can’t go.’”

Clemson, along with Virginia Tech, is the highest ranked ACC team in the Associated Press Top 25 and has five wins over top 50 teams. The Tigers have won three straight conference games, beating then No. 18 Florida State by 10 points, a one-point road win at Miami, and then their dramatic come-from-behind victory over NC State.

“Guys were playing well, and they wanted to play,” Brownell said. “When you have rhythm and you are in a good space, that is when you want to keep playing. If things are not going well, then maybe a pause can be good for you. So, this will be a test for us. How we bounce back from that, I think, is not something you are used to doing.”

If everything goes according to plan and the Tigers are able to get back to practice on Tuesday or Wednesday, then they will have the normal two or three days they would need in the week to prepare for the Cavaliers.

“We need to figure out what is going on and we are hopeful that all of our testing comes back good, so we can get back out and then it will be just normal practices,” Brownell said.

Clemson is scheduled to host Virginia on Saturday at 6 p.m. If the game is played, it will be televised on ESPN.

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