Michigan State men’s basketball head coach Tom Izzo announced that there was an outbreak of COVID-19 within the team over the last week.
Izzo said that Michigan State will be without freshman guard Max Christie, senior center Marcus Bingham Jr., freshman guard Pierre Brooks and walk-on Steven Izzo will miss tomorrow’s game against High Point after testing positive for COVID-19.
Izzo said members of the team started testing positive after the team’s trip to Detroit on Dec. 21 to play Oakland. He said that the team will move forward with the players available for the final game of the nonconference schedule.
“I think we'll be able to play, and it looks like everybody else is pretty ready to go,” Izzo said.
He added that the players are close to returning from quarantine and are expected to be back for Michigan State’s next game against Northwestern on Jan. 2.
“I'm 99% sure they'll be back the day after the game,” Izzo said. “So, I guess, there's some good news. But the bad news is you'd like to play this game and have a full set of people. … Everybody's going through it so no sense in complaining about it. We just gotta deal with it, and we'll deal with it. But the game plan is now, right now, that we’ll have everybody by the day after the game.”
The ugly familiarity of last year’s COVID-riddled season is rearing its head for the Spartans. Michigan State missed almost all of January last season due to an outbreak of the virus among nearly the entire team. Izzo said the relaxed rules surrounding COVID-19 restrictions will help keep games scheduled moving forward.
The Big Ten announced earlier today that scheduled games will continue to be played despite COVID-19 issues as long as both teams have seven players and one coach available who test negative.
“We didn't play a game in 20 days, guys couldn't work out, couldn't do anything,” Izzo said. “Those rules are a lot less now, which means that you still are going to be missing somebody throughout the year, I'm sure. But it won't be like that amount of time where everybody's off and made it so difficult last year.”
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