Return for UofM men’s basketball unclear after players test positive for COVID-19

Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 4:52 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 20, 2021 at 6:54 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Tigers fans may have to hold off a little while longer before seeing the team play in person again. The Tigers have canceled games because of cases of COVID-19 among team members.

Head Coach Penny Hardaway says at least two players woke up feeling ill ahead of the game between the Tigers and Vols in Nashville over the weekend. That game was canceled. Now, Tuesday’s game against Alabama state has also been canceled.

These changes happened suddenly. Saturday’s game was canceled just an hour and a half before tipoff.

Hardaway says Tyler Harris and Landers Nolley didn’t feel well the morning of the game, they got tested three times and all tests came back positive for COVID-19. After undergoing contact tracing, only four players were able to play.

Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes said there’s “no way” the game will be rescheduled this season because they don’t have room in the schedule.

Hardaway says he wants to find a way to play it this year.

“Hopefully we can have the presidents and ADs talk and we can push this thing through,” said Hardaway. “I see he doesn’t want to, but we do. Hopefully, the powers to be who want to push it through for the fans’ reasons, not for the coaches or anything else besides that. I did think about the magnitude. It’s a huge game for us to lose. Especially coming off of Alabama game with momentum.”

Hardaway thinks the team will be out 7-10 days, however additional details about Memphis’ upcoming schedule will be announced at a later date.

We’ve also learned, Penny Hardaway’s Radio Show at Brookhaven Pub & Grill has been canceled. No word on when it might be back.

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