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UConn men's basketball activities on pause again after positive COVID tests

Like Tom Petty sings, the waiting is the hardest part. It's safe to say Dan Hurley and UConn men's basketball currently share Petty's sentiment.

After getting a taste of the season, the Huskies are back on the sidelines as a result of two positive COVID-19 tests within the program. The unfortunate results were reported on Sunday, with additional details establishing that the positive tests came from one player and one non-Tier-1 individual.

“The reaction was one of surprise,” UConn head coach Dan Hurley said, via a Tuesday afternoon Zoom call with media members. “I think, unfortunately, they know it's going to be a while before we can practice again.”

The Huskies (3-0) were supposed to make their return to Big East play against St. John’s on Friday, but that game has been postponed after UConn suspended operations.

With the coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc throughout the world, UConn's head coach has things in perspective, especially now that the Huskies are forced to endure a second stoppage to their season.

“It's hard to complain about the frustration of a college basketball season with the real-world problems,” he said.

In light of this news, it appears extremely unlikely that Sunday’s game at Georgetown will take place since Sunday is the target date for the program to resume barring no other positive test results this week.

“If our first day back is Sunday, I’m not putting our guys back on the court for a game,” Hurley said. “We are going to take the absolute best care of our players (going forward).”

When pressed on whether the game with the Hoyas will happen, Hurley said they were “still collecting information.”

As a result of the shutdown, UConn misses out on a few non-conference games and will jump right into Big East play for the first time since their seven-year hiatus came to a close. The next game currently on UConn’s is slated for Dec. 17 at Providence.

“It’s probably conference games or nothing for us at this point,” Hurley said. “Unless there’s some windows (during the league season).”

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When asked if there had been any discussions about a possible Big East bubble to fit in league games, Hurley said he has not been a part of such talk but athletic director Dave Benedict likely has.

If the Big East did opt for a bubble, however, Hurley would like to see some changes from the one the Huskies just emerged from at Mohegan Sun. The two-week tournament had teams coming in and out of the local casino during its run, as opposed to a more-controlled atmosphere like the NBA and NHL had for their abbreviated seasons.

“It's going to be hard to have any semblance of a season under these conditions,” Hurley said.

The setback on the court has affected everyone on the roster in different ways, including sophomore Akok Akok, who is trying to return from a torn Achilles’ tendon and had resumed 5-on-5 workouts right before the stoppage.

“It has had a debilitating effect on his return date and his recovery,” the coach added.

CLICK HERE to watch Coach Hurley's media session in its entirety!