How Will the Gonzaga Bulldogs Be Affected Following Their COVID Crisis?

Published 12/08/2020, 11:00 AM EST
Nov 27, 2020; Fort Myers, Florida, USA;Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Corey Kispert (24), guard Will Graves (35) and teammates high five as they beat the Auburn Tigers during the second half at Suncoast Credit Union Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


COVID-19 continues to hit teams, with the Gonzaga Bulldogs becoming the latest team to bear the brunt. ESPN revealed that a player and a member of their traveling party have tested positive, thus forcing them to shut down all team activities.

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This situation has also led to the postponement of their highly anticipated clash against Baylor. The Bulldogs have announced that they will not return to action until December 15. So games against Tarleton, Southern, Northern Arizona, and Idaho will be called off.

They played against Auburn despite having one player out with COVID. But coach Mark Few revealed that a staff member also tested positive after the game. After a five-day gap, they played again, this time against WVU.

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Dec 2, 2020; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Drew Timme (2) passes the ball against West Virginia Mountaineers forward Derek Culver (1) in the first half at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Then three days later, just 90 minutes before tipoff against Baylor, the number one vs number two showdown was postponed because of those new cases.

Gonzaga Bulldogs to miss over two weeks of action

When the Bulldogs return to play on December 19, their first opponent will be the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Hawkeyes are eyeing the Bulldogs’ top spot and a win could see them overtake them. They are currently third and are have started the season 3-0. So playing them after a 17 day break will be tough for the Bulldogs.

Sophomore Drew Timme will have his hands full trying to keep Luka Garza at bay. He is the favorite to win the Naismith Player of the Year and has been dominating the NCAA. He is currently averaging 34 points and 9.7 rebounds, while shooting 62% from three. The Bulldogs will have to be at their best to stop him.

Dec 3, 2020; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes center Luka Garza (55) goes to the basket as Western Illinois Leathernecks forward Rod Johnson Jr. (11) defends during the first half at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The enforced break has already jolted their momentum, and if they lose against the Hawkeyes, it could further affect their morale. Fortunately for them, they have an easy run of eight games after the Iowa game, where they can rebuild momentum.

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The Bulldogs are fighting for their first-ever NCAA title, and will do their best to keep their form going. They finished runner-up in 2017 and couldn’t go past the Elite Eight in 2019. Now they have a capable squad with a strong core in Drew Kispert, Jalen Suggs, and Drew Timme. Coach Mark Few will be hoping his team can live up to the expectations.

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Dec 2, 2020; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs head coach Mark Few reacts on the sideline in the first half against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

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Aaron Mathew

1638 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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