Creighton Pauses Team Activities After Positive COVID-19 Tests (twitter.com)

Creighton

Thursday afternoon that its men’s basketball program has paused team activities and that the team will withdraw from the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic early-season tournament in Sioux Falls, S.D. The Bluejays are widely considered a preseason Top 25 team and were slated to face South Dakota State on Wednesday at the Crossover Classic. Multiple teams have already withdrawn from the tournament due to concerns over COVID-19.

“Following multiple positive COVID-19 test results to Tier 1 individuals within the program, the Creighton University men’s basketball team will no longer be participating in the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic in Sioux Falls, S.D.,” Creighton Athletics said in a statement. “Among the examples the NCAA identifies as potential Tier 1 individuals are student-athletes, coaches, athletic trainers, physical therapists, medical staff, equipment staff, or officials. … A decision on safely resuming activities will be made in the days to come following additional discussions and medical testing.”

Creighton projects as one of the nation’s top offensive teams and a potential contender in the Big East this season. In addition to the Bluejays’ three games at the Crossover Classic, a Dec. 1 home game against Omaha and Dec. 8 visit to Kansas could conceivably be in iffy territory. Creighton then faces Nebraska at home on Dec. 11. Creighton athletic director Bruce Rasmussen did not provide a timetable for the program to restart practice.

“We are disappointed to have to withdraw from the Crossover Classic, but the safety and well-being of those surrounding our program needs to be the priority,” Rasmussen said. “We continue to have confidence in the protocols set up by Sanford Health and those associated with the Crossover Classic, and do not want to jeopardize the health of those we would potentially come into contact with while in Sioux Falls.”

Creighton came in at No. 10 in 247Sports’ preseason rankings and No. 11 in the Associated Press poll. That’s in large part due to high-scoring guard Marcus Zegarowski, who’s one of the top returning players in the Big East and all of college basketball.

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“With four starters and the Big East’s top sixth man back from that squad, Creighton looks to have another fun team to watch,” Kevin Flaherty wrote in 247Sports’ preview of Creighton released on Nov. 6. “And that Bluejay team comes in at No. 10 in 247Sports’ countdown of the nation’s top college basketball teams for 2020-21. It all starts with point guard and All-America candidate Marcus Zegarowski (6-2 180). Zegarowski blossomed into one of the nation’s best playmakers as a sophomore, averaging 16.1 points and 5.0 assists per game and shooting 42.4% on his 3-pointers. He’s the perfect triggerman for Creighton’s elite offense.”




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