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Cougar Hoops facing unique challenge of too much time at home

After postponing Saturday’s game at Colorado, the Cougs won’t leave Pullman until early January.

NCAA Basketball: Texas Southern at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

After some members of the Washington State basketball traveling party tested positive for COVID-19, the Cougars were forced to postpone Saturday’s scheduled game at Colorado.

That game with the Buffs was their only road game scheduled for this season until the calendar turns to 2021. The change means that WSU’s opening three-game homestand has turned into an opening 10-game homestand.

In a traditional season, a 10-game homestand would be a dream come true for a head coach. But, as you know by now, 2020 is anything but a traditional season.

“Don’t underestimate the monotony,” WSU head coach Kyle Smith said in his press conference on Tuesday. “I’ve never been in one city this long in my life for this many consecutive days.”

Smith added that with the uncertainty of the offseason, and the preseason training camp in (what amounted to) a bubble on campus in Pullman, his team has been experiencing the same thing over and over again.

“That little trip to Colorado would have been a chance for us to bond and kind of get out the daily routine a little bit,” Smith said.

The positive is, the team has a new opponent that they can focus on every few days. This week, the team is turning their focus to the annual Battle for the Palouse. But this edition of the longest continuously running basketball series west of the Mississippi is going to be a little different.

“It’s awkward because we don’t have fans,” Smith said about Wednesday night’s game. “It’s going to be hard to have a rivalry without some crowd involvement. But it is proximity for sure... There will be a little more motivation for both sides.”

The Cougs will look to move to 4-0 on the season when they face Idaho tonight in Pullman. Tip-off set for 6 p.m. with TV coverage on Pac-12 Washington.

‘Don’t underestimate the monotony.’ Washington State battling challenges away from court during strange year
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