For the second time this season, the USC men’s basketball team has had to postpone a game shortly before tip-off due to COVID-19 issues within the program.
On Thursday, the Trojans’ game at Stanford was postponed indefinitely due to “a suspected COVID-related issue within our program,” USC tweeted out 14 minutes before the team was scheduled to play the Cardinal.
In a follow-up tweet, USC announced it would work with the Pac-12 and Stanford to find a date on which to reschedule the conference game.
In December, USC shut down for two weeks due to a single positive COVID-19 case on the roster and the resulting contact tracing that required all players to go into quarantine.
In that instance, it was also a USC-Stanford game that was immediately postponed. That game, at the Galen Center for the Trojans’ Pac-12 opener, was one of four impacted by that COVID-19 issue for USC. A game at Oregon State was postponed, while non-conference games against South Florida and Texas Southern were canceled.
USC (11-3, 5-2 in Pac-12) just made up the missed Oregon State game on Tuesday in a two-point loss to the Beavers. The rescheduled game against Stanford was just announced last week for Feb. 2.
Now, the Trojans and Cardinals will have to find another open date on the calendar.
A lot is still unknown about USC’s current situation following Thursday’s announcement. USC did not specify whether a player or coach has tested positive for COVID-19, or whether a non-conclusive test result came back prior to this game. And if there is a positive case, there is no telling whether others will be impacted due to contact tracing.
The Pac-12 currently requires seven scholarship student-athletes available for a team to participate in a game.
USC announced that it would require the two-week shutdown two days after the positive COVID-19 case was revealed in December, so some time is needed for the program to go through any contact tracing protocols required after Thursday.