After strong starts to both of their seasons, the Stony Brook men’s and women’s basketball teams have both paused all team-related activities due to a positive COVID-19 test within each program.
The positive test results do not necessarily have to come from a player, as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) defines a tier one individual — those with the closest contact to the program — as “student-athletes, coaches, athletic trainers and physical therapists, medical staff, equipment staff and officials.”
The men’s basketball team announced its pause on Wednesday, Dec. 30, two days after defeating UMass Lowell at home 71-64. As a result, its next two scheduled weekend series have been postponed. A home pair versus UMBC has been moved from Jan. 2 and 3 to Feb. 6 and 7, while the subsequent road trip to Albany has been changed from Jan. 9 and 10 to Feb. 12 and 13.
“We have the one positive and, with testing three times per week, we hope we got to it early and contained the spread,” head coach Geno Ford said in an interview with Newsday. “The person who tested positive is asymptomatic, so that’s good news among the bad.”
Stony Brook Men’s Basketball began its conference season 4-0 after sweeping Binghamton and UMass Lowell to claim sole possession of first place in the America East, a result not expected as the Seawolves were projected to finish fifth in the preseason polls. The team is currently riding a five-game win streak.
Six players on the men’s team are not in quarantine following the completion of contract tracing. The earliest that Stony Brook can practice as a team again is Jan. 12.
The women’s basketball team announced its pause on Thursday, Dec. 31. Its upcoming series against UMBC and Albany have also been postponed, with a new date for those contests not yet scheduled by the America East. The team swept Binghamton before splitting the series with UMass Lowell. Their 3-1 record in America East play is tied with Maine for first place.
Given how successful both programs have been so far, it is vital that the NCAA-mandated pause does not disrupt their momentum.