December 4, 2020 

COVID-19 update: Stanford finds a home

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UConn is nearing the start of its season, Stanford finds a home in Las Vegas, and more in Friday's COVID-19 update

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Photo courtesy of Stanford Athletics

The last few days have brought some much-needed good news on the college women’s basketball front. UConn is finally almost ready to start its season, and basketball fans will get their first look at the 2020-21 UConn Huskies soon enough. On another good note, fellow top program Stanford has finally found a place to play its games.

Stanford has a home

The second-ranked Cardinal have been working to reschedule a number of games due to the Santa Clara County COVID-19 restrictions banning contact sports. The temporary ban is in effect until Dec. 21 and has already canceled or postponed four games, with another seven still on the schedule during this period.

Luckily, Stanford has partnered with UNLV to temporarily relocate to Las Vegas and use the Runnin’ Rebels facilities until being to return to practicing and playing games in Santa Clara County.

The decision by UNLV to allow Stanford into their campus is a huge one, as the Cardinal were originally going to have to cancel or postpone indefinitely four games, including five against Pac-12 opponents Washington, Washington State, Cal, Southern California, and UCLA.

Huskies on the brink of a return

No. 2 UConn is just days away from being able to officially return to organized team activities. After beginning a 14-day shutdown due to a positive non-coach and non-player test inside the program on Nov. 25, the Huskies’ start to the season was delayed indefinitely.

Now, UConn is eligible to return to practice on Tuesday, Dec. 8, and has added a new game to its schedule in order to begin its season even earlier. The Huskies will host UMass Lowell on Dec. 12 at Gampel Pavilion, four days after returning to practice.

Currently, UConn has been following NCAA guidelines regarding player activities, with players only allowed to practice in their respective pods. The NCAA defines a pod as the people you live with.

Ranked cancellations

This weekend brings yet another stretch of cancellations involving top-25 teams, as four teams had to cancel games, including the top-5 Huskies. UConn was forced to cancel its weekend matchups due to its current program shutdown.

In the Big 10, No. 14 Maryland saw its Saturday, Dec. 5 game against Coppin State canceled after positive COVID-19 testing inside the Coppin State program, and No. 21 Missouri State’s Dec. 5 game was also canceled due to positive COVID-19 testing among the Tulsa personnel.

UConn will return to action with its aforementioned Dec. 12 game against UMass Lowell, and Maryland and Missouri State will both be back on Dec. 8 (vs. Mount St. Mary’s) and Dec. 7 (vs. Lincoln), respectively.

Rough weekend for college basketball

This weekend brings among the most cancellations women’s basketball has seen so far. Of the games scheduled for Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, 23 have already been canceled, with likely at least a few more to follow.

This comes on the heels of the news that the Pac-12 has considered putting its programs on pause after Christmas due to the consistent rise in COVID-19 cases.

In a Thursday afternoon press conference, Arizona State head coach Charli Turner Thorne mentioned that there has been “lots of conversation” about the Pac-12 putting men’s and women’s basketball on hold.

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