NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The SFA men’s basketball team is back on the court preparing for conference play following a two-week shutdown due to COVID-19.
The ‘jacks, sitting at 3-2 on the year, will host the University of New Orleans on Saturday. New Orleans will enter the contest at 1-7.
The SFA season has gotten off to a rocky start. Their first three games in Connecticut were canceled after a member of the SFA travel party tested positive for COVID-19 at the site of their “bubble event”. Their home opening opponent was switched and moved up a day after Hardin Simmons had COVID-19 issues. The team also had another schedule change later on and then following their December 12 game against Louisiana Monroe, the team was put into quarantine following COVID-19 issues. because of the shutdown, the team lost four more games.
“It has been a season of change and flexibility,” head coach Kyle Keller said. “Coaches are creatures of habits and patterns with what we do everyday. The players are able to adjust. They can do things on the fly. It was good to see our players and good to see smiling faces.”
Just because the team was not together did not mean players were not putting in work. It has been 21 days since they last took the court in a 66-55 loss to ULM.
“We are all excited,” SFA guard Roti Ware said. “We have talked about getting back on the floor as a family and just playing our game. I just got my head back in the right space. I think everyone needed to go home and see their family for a bit. I just worked out on the side a bit. I went to the gym and tried to stay conditioned.”
The ‘Jacks now face a 16 game Southland Conference schedule. They hope they get in all 16 games. After UNO they were supposed to play at Texas A&M Corpus Christi on January 6 but the Islanders have paused activities and the conference is working on a makeup date for the game.
“The margin of error is really slim,” Keller said. “Every game is important and every game matters. There is no, ‘Hey we can make it up down the line.’ Hopefully we play a lot more scheduled games in the league part of the schedule. That was a huge hiccup for us. You can only control the controllables and I think our kids have been ready to play each and every time. We are excited to play new Orleans. We will play Corpus when we can play them. I know the league is trying to work that out. Who knows, we may play four games in a week at some point.”
The men’s game will be preceded by the Ladyjacks game against UNO. The Ladyjacks enter the game at 8-2 on the year. The first game tips off at 2 p.m.