The No. 24-ranked San Diego State basketball team took the floor for warmups Thursday night at Desert Financial Arena ahead of its game against No. 23 Arizona State.
Only nine guys came out.
Three players did not make the trip for what coach Brian Dutcher described as contact tracing protocol: sophomore Keshad Johnson and freshmen Keith Dinwiddie Jr. and Che Evans.
He did provide details, other than to say it was not team related, instead originating from a non-athletic department event where someone later tested positive for COVID-19.
“We just put them on a temporary pause because of the COVID situation we’re all dealing with,” Dutcher said after SDSU’s 80-68 win. “They were in a social environment that we felt was not conducive to them being with the team for seven days. We shut them down, we’re testing them and they’ll all be back at practice next week.”
Of the three, only Johnson was expected to be in the rotation Thursday night. He is averaging 6.5 points and 3.0 rebounds in 13.3 minutes off the bench, with a career high 14 points coming against UC Irvine on Nov. 27.
Dinwiddie and Evans did not play in the 65-60 win against Pepperdine on Sunday. Johnson played only in the first half.
They’re expected to miss only this game with eight days before the next one, Dec. 18 against BYU at Viejas Arena.
“I think this is going to be a year-long thing,” Dutcher said last month about the prospect of losing players for stretches. “You look at the NFL, college football, Major League Baseball – any sport that’s trying to participate. We’re all going to face a pause at some point, whether it’s our own program or someone we’re playing.
“We’ll remain flexible. We’ll try to live the right way and avoid it, but we all know the numbers are going up around the country. Hopefully it will miss us, but we will prepared to deal with it if it visits Aztecs basketball.”