Third straight men’s basketball game impacted by health and safety protocols

Jan. 2, 2022, 9:54 p.m.

Fans of Stanford men’s basketball (8-4, 1-1 Pac-12) will have to wait to see the Cardinal return to the court, as a third straight contest has been affected by COVID-19. On Sunday, it was announced that the Cardinal’s game versus No. 5 UCLA (8-1, 1-0 Pac-12) — originally scheduled for Thursday — has been “postponed due to health and safety protocols within the Stanford program.” 

A press release stated that the Pac-12 will reschedule the matchup “for a later date.”

This marks the second Pac-12 contest that the Cardinal will have to reschedule, as their Sunday matchup versus rival Cal (9-5, 2-1 Pac-12) was also postponed due to COVID-19 complications within the Stanford program. 

These events follow Stanford’s appearance in the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii, where the Cardinal made their way to the championship after defeating Wyoming (11-2, 0-0 Mountain West) and Liberty (9-6, 0-0 ASUN). Leading the charge was junior forward Spencer Jones, who averaged 20 points per game and earned a spot on the Diamond Head Classic all-tournament team.

Unfortunately, the title game was canceled less than two hours before the scheduled tip-off as positive cases on the Cardinal squad forced a number of players to stay back and isolate themselves. In a gesture that has prompted numerous compliments on his leadership, head coach Jerod Haase remained with the players to assist in delivering food and doing laundry.

Having a game affected by COVID-19 is nothing new for UCLA, who had five games canceled or postponed in the month of December due to health and safety protocols. Their bout versus Stanford marks the seventh contest out of their last eight scheduled games to have been affected. 

However, the Bruins are slated to play Arizona State on Wednesday, in a game that has been rescheduled from what was supposed to be a New Year’s Day matchup. This is a promising sign for the Cardinal that indicates they may be able to play against both Cal and UCLA in the near future. 

For now, Stanford looks toward its next scheduled game, a Pac-12 matchup versus USC (12-0, 2-0 Pac-12) on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT at Maples Pavilion.

Zach Zafran is the managing editor of the sports section. He is a sophomore from the Bay Area, who is majoring in Mathematical and Computational Science. Zach has previous experience reporting and writing with SFGATE, and you can find him around campus wearing swim trunks no matter the weather. Follow him on Twitter at @ZachZafran and contact him at sports 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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