The Iowa Hawkeyes men’s basketball will pause workouts for 14 days after two players tested positive for COVID-19, the school announced Tuesday.
The Iowa players received their positive tests on Monday and have been quarantined, the school said.
“Following the positive test result, protocol established by [Iowa] athletics and medical staff, including contact tracing procedures, is being followed to ensure the safety of all athletics student-athletes and staff,” the school’s release stated. “This mandatory protocol also includes isolation for the individuals who test positive, and quarantine for those individuals who might have been exposed to someone with the virus.”
The Hawkeyes are expected to compete for a Big Ten title and a spot in the Final Four if Luka Garza, the projected national preseason player of the year for the 2020-2021 season, returns.
Garza has reportedly received an invite to attend the NBA combine. Prospects must withdraw by the NCAA’s deadline on Monday to preserve their collegiate eligibility. Prior to receiving an invitation to the Combine, Garza had told ESPN in May that “the unknowns” might make returning to Iowa an easier decision.
College basketball’s power brokers have relied on the luxury of time as they consider their options to complete the upcoming season. The NCAA hopes to host its perennial tournament in March.
Dan Gavitt, the NCAA’s vice president of basketball, recently told ESPN the plans for the sport’s 2020-2021 campaign remain unchanged.
“Right now, we’re still planning on conducting a tournament as scheduled in March and April,” Gavitt said. “That’s definitely our preference.”