PHOENIX, AZ (KTSM) — It has been a rough past couple weeks for the New Mexico State men’s basketball team — more like a rough couple months since relocating to Arizona to play their 2020-21 season due to state restrictions preventing NMSU from playing or practicing in Las Cruces.
The Aggies paused team activities back on Jan. 4 following a positive case of COVID-19 within the program. NMSU has not practiced or played since and announced on Sunday they have postponed this weekend’s series against UTRGV due to additional, “multiple positive COVID-19 tests within the team’s tier one testing group.” The two-game, back-to-back series with the Vaqueros was originally scheduled to be played on Friday, Jan. 22 and Saturday, Jan. 23.
NMSU head coach Chris Jans met with members of the media on Monday to discuss what’s next for the Aggies, including if shutting down the season is an option at this point given the unprecedented circumstances his team is facing.
“It’s not an option for me — if I’m making the decision, but obviously that’s probably not something I would get to make a final decision on,” said Jans. “We’ve gone so far at this point and unfortunately — or fortunately depending on how you look at it — the finish line is in sight now. I think it’s 46 days until the first round of the WAC Tournament. I think we’ve been down here [Phoenix, AZ] for around 70 days, if I’m not mistaken… If you look at it from that perspective, we certainly aren’t down the home stretch — we’ve played three games — but in terms of the basketball season, they’re not waiting for us. We have to do our best to try and stay healthy and safe and get to a point where we can get back on the court to practice and compete.”
You can watch the press conference in its entirety here: