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WSU basketball postpones games at Oregon, OSU after more COVID issues with the Cougs

The Cougars won’t play at all this weekend.

PULLMAN, WA - JANUARY 15: Washington State Men’s Basketball versus the California Golden Bears at Beasley Coliseum - Washington State guard Tyrell Roberts (2) and Washington State guard Jefferson Koulibaly (3) Jack Ellis/CougCenter

Less than a week after inconclusive tests (and a likely Stanford tantrum) delayed a Washington State Cougars men’s basketball game, the team is dealing with more COVID issues.

The program announced on Tuesday that their upcoming game against Oregon has been postponed as the Cougs deal with yet another outbreak. The game is the second that has been postponed due to COVID issues for WSU, following the game against Washington in December.

Then, on Thursday, the school made another announcement: The game against Oregon State on Saturday — which coach Kyle Smith had been hopeful about playing — also was being postponed.

In a press conference on Tuesday, Kyle Smith said that players that tested positive are doing well. He did not reveal who is in the virus protocol, but did say that one player is showing minor symptoms while the others are asymptomatic.

Smith added that, after another COVID setback, his players are feeling a big frustrated.

“They’re losing condition and practice, and they feel fine,” Smith said.

While losing a game is a disappointment, Smith did bring up some good news. He said that he thought all but three of the players on his roster have contracted COVID-19 this season which should mean they will have enough players available for all remaining games this season.

“That should put us in a position where, from here on out, we should be able to play.”

Smith was hopeful his squad would be cleared to play in Corvallis this weekend, even if the game had to be pushed back — “We’re trying to get that, possibly Sunday, I don’t know. We’re trying to get back on track” — but that turned out not to be the case.

As mentioned, this isn’t the first time WSU’s momentum has been slowed by COVID, but the team also had to deal with a flu outbreak during the final weeks of 2021.

“We’ve just been snakebit,” Smith said. “We haven’t had a full team since USC. We got hit with the flu and I was kind of hoping, to be honest, that when we really got hit bad against South Dakota State, I assumed it was going to be COVID. But it wasn’t. We’re the only team that got the double whammy.”

WSU now sits in a position where they will have only played four games over a stretch of 34 days. Now they’re staring down a schedule that sees them playing 15 games, including a trio of rescheduled matchups, between now and March 5.

'We've just been snakebit': Washington State postpones second game in less than a month, pushes back matchup with Oregon due to COVID-19 issues | The Spokesman-Review
PULLMAN – Washington State’s road game against Oregon, originally scheduled for Thursday night, has been postponed because of COVID-19 issues within the Cougars’ program.

Men's Basketball Game At Oregon Thursday Postponed - Washington State University Athletics
PULLMAN, Wash. - The Washington State men's basketball game at Oregon has been postponed due to COVID-19 protocols within the Cougs' program.

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