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START TO MARIST BASKETBALL SEASON IN LIMBO

Pause On Campus Due To COVID Outbreak Extended To Monday, Nov. 16

By Rich Thomaselli
HVSR Staff

The upcoming basketball seasons for both the men’s and women’s programs at Marist College are in limbo, as the current ‘pause’ on campus due to a COVID-19 outbreak at the Town of Poughkeepsie school has been extended to Monday, Nov. 16.

Neither the men nor the women have participated in any athletic-related activities since Nov. 1 due to the outbreak in which 87 members of the Marist community have tested positive for the coronavirus. In fact, Sports Information Director Mike Ferraro told Hudson Valley Sports Report during the few times the Red Foxes have been able to assemble as a team since the Oct. 14 start for basketball was strictly for training sessions – running, shooting, drills, and 5-on-0 work. No contact, no 5-on-5.

It’s the second time in five weeks that Marist has had to go to a pause on campus.

Marist’s Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) foe Iona College announced today that a positive COVID-19 test within the men’s basketball program has forced the Gaels to cancel or postpone their first four games while the team is in 14-day isolation, starting with the Nov. 25 non-conference game against Fordham.

The Marist men were tentatively scheduled to open the season on that same date against Stony Brook, but Ferraro stressed that “we have not announced any non-conference games. I know there was another school that talked about playing us but we can’t talk about it until there are contracts.”

The Red Foxes game against Stony Brook is listed on the Seawolves’ site, as is a Nov. 28 game between Marist and Albany listed on the Great Danes’ website.

But with the pause on Marist’s campus now extended until the 16th, is nine days of practice after more than two weeks of not even picking up a basketball going to be enough time?

According to the MAAC, there is no minimum number of practices needed by teams prior to a season opener.

“That’s up to the individual institutions,” MAAC Director of New Media and Communications Taylor O’Connor told HVSR. “If the institution feels as though the team is not ready, or have health and safety concerns that they didn’t get enough practices in, it’s their call.”

Marist’s conference schedule is set, albeit changed from what was originally announced. Back in September, the MAAC announced a ‘schedule model’ in which the men’s teams would play on Tuesdays and Fridays each week, and the women would play on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Now there is a new, more radical plan in response to the surge in the coronavirus.

Each of the MAAC’s 11 teams will now play five series at home, and five series on the road, back-to-back. Each of those series will be played on Fridays and Saturdays, with 24 hours between each game. For example, if the Marist men are playing Siena in Albany, one game would be on a Friday and the next on Saturday, both in Albany. No home-and-homes. At the same time, the Marist women would host Siena on the same dates in back-to-back games at the McCann Center.

A formal announcement is expected shortly along with the pairings for the season. The conference schedule is expected to begin Dec. 11 and 12.

With 11 schools in the league, each team will get a bye week.

 

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