Earlier this week, probably the most influential coach in faculty basketball, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, raised the query of whether or not the season ought to even be persevering with amid the worsening pandemic. His considerations, made a number of days earlier than Duke canceled its remaining nonconference schedule, had been well-rooted and well-reasoned: The U.S. on Wednesday skilled greater than 3,000 deaths in a 24-hour interval, and disruptions within the sports activities calendar have been a mainstay, particularly in faculty basketball because the season started two weeks in the past.
However Alabama coach Nate Oats on Thursday questioned Krzyzewski’s sincerity of these considerations in a press convention, saying, “We should always 100% be taking part in basketball,” whereas including that Duke’s sluggish begin to the season could have had one thing to do with the Corridor of Famer expressing his considerations.
“Do you suppose if Coach Okay hadn’t misplaced the 2 nonconference video games at dwelling he’d nonetheless be saying that?” Oats requested reporters. “I feel we would have a complete lot extra issues if we weren’t taking part in video games.”
Duke is 2-2 on the season after taking losses at dwelling to Michigan State and Illinois in December, its worst begin to a season in additional than 20 years. However Krzyzewski’s considerations of pushing ahead are associated not simply to the general well being of gamers and staffers, as he stated earlier this week, but additionally the planning of the season and the way it could unfold.
“We’re simply plowing via this,” Krzyzewski stated through ESPN.com. “Persons are saying the subsequent six weeks are going to be the worst. To me, it is already fairly dangerous. On the opposite aspect of it, there are these vaccines which can be popping out. By the tip of the month, 20 million vaccine pictures might be given. By the tip of January or in February, one other 100 million. Ought to we not reassess that? See simply what can be finest?”
Itching for extra faculty hoops evaluation? Hear under and subscribe to the Eye on School Basketball podcast the place we take you past the hardwood with insider info and prompt reactions.
As for Oats, who has contracted and already recovered from COVID-19, he feels it ought to be full-steam forward.
“Like, what are these guys gonna do? I’ve received three daughters, they have to be in class,” Oats stated. “People aren’t made to sit down alone in isolation for weeks and weeks on finish. We gotta watch out on how we do life, however you continue to gotta do life. An enormous a part of life for these guys that I am teaching is being within the gymnasium taking part in basketball.”