Louisville basketball resumes team activities after Covid-19 pause

Louisville Cardinals mascot (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Louisville Cardinals mascot (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Louisville basketball team is back on the court after a one week pause.

With less than a week remaining until their next scheduled game, the Louisville basketball team has resumed practice after a week hiatus due to Covid-19 issues.

The information was relayed via gocards.com and explains that the team will have two days of individual sessions before having a full team practice on Saturday.

There was also an update on the status of a potential Wisconsin matchup following the postponement of the game.

"UofL and Wisconsin will continue to look for a future date to possibly play their game originally scheduled for Dec. 9, but there is currently no plan in place for the postponed contest.  The Cardinals’ next scheduled game is Dec. 16 against NC State in the KFC Yum! Center."

That is certainly encouraging news that the game still has a chance to be played. Wisconsin would be Louisville’s toughest non-conference opponent without a doubt this season and the opportunity to play them would be very helpful in the opportunity to building upon an NCAA Tournament resume.

As for NC State, that game certainly feels very up in the air at the moment despite Louisville’s return to the floor today.

The NC State team, however, is heading in the opposite direction of the Cards. Their program is currently on pause due to Covid-19 measures. The Wolfpack have two members of their travel party that have tested positive for Covid as of Wednesday, Dec. 9.

This development does not seem to fare well for the chances of that game happening on Dec. 16. If the team were to pause for a week, that would put them set to resume team activities on game day. The Wolfpack would likely (and understandably) want a couple of days to practice leading up to the game.

Even then, that does not mean NC State will be able to resume within a week which will force the game to be moved to a later date. Certainly, if the game against the Wolfpack gets postponed, Louisville will be looking to pounce on the opportunity to play against Wisconsin or another non-conference opponent at some point to fill the schedule.

What about injuries?

Another thing to keep note as the the team resumes their practices is player injuries. As a refresher, Samuell Williamson, Josh Nickelberry, Charles Minlend, and Malik Williams had all been injured and not participating in games at the time of the pause.

Sam Williamson is likely to be ready for game action by the time of their next matchup after dealing with a dislocated toe while a return for Nickelberry is potentially on the horizon. Nickelberry has not had any game action in 2020 due to some complications from an arthroscopic surgery to his knee.

Chris Mack said on Nov. 29 that Nickelberry would likely not play in the Louisville bubble. With that time now passed, his return seems to be coming sooner rather than later.

Minlend and Williams still have some time before they will be ready with Minlend being the closer of the two. Minlend may need another week or two before he is able to get back to being a full participant at practice. Williams is likely still a couple of months away from a return.

The Cardinals getting two players back as they head into ACC play will be a huge boost for a team struggling mightily with depth. Chris Mack and the staff had been working with a seven man rotation that simply would have had trouble holding up within the conference if it were to continue.

Overall thoughts

The resuming of team activities is nothing but a good sign for the basketball program. The team will now have some options: either the NC State game gets postponed and Louisville tries to slide in for a Wisconsin rescheduling or the NC State game is played as is in just six days.

In 2020, the schedule is tentative as a whole. No game date or time is guaranteed with postponements and cancellations, and there will likely be a lot of makeshift games being filled where the holes are left.

That development alone could lead to chaos but also great fun for games being scheduled just days before they are to be played. That trend (so far) has actually done very well for college football.

All will seem finally right in the world again when the Cardinals take the floor for their next game.