Brownell disappointed in UNC postponement, pause but hopeful to resume activities soon


by - Senior Writer -
Brownell is hopeful the team can resume activities this week (USA TODAY photo).
Brownell is hopeful the team can resume activities this week (USA TODAY photo).

Clemson head coach Brad Brownell is hopeful that his team can return to the practice courts in the next day or two and play against Virginia Saturday.

No. 19 Clemson paused all basketball activities last Friday and then postponed its contests against North Carolina (in Chapel Hill) and Syracuse (at Syracuse) after a positive COVID-19 test and contact tracing. The Tigers were scheduled to play North Carolina last Saturday and the Syracuse game was scheduled for Tuesday night.

Brownell, on the ACC media call Monday, said his program hasn’t returned to the practice courts but continues to test in the hopes they can resume activities this week.

“We are hopeful that if we continue to get negative tests, which we have for the most part the past couple of days and today, then possibly Tuesday or Wednesday we could get back to practice,” Brownell said.

He then said he hasn’t heard any plans from the league about making up those two games.

“No, not yet. I don't really know,” Brownell said. “I'm sure we are all just kind of waiting to see what happens and if there are openings. How it all works, I don't really know."

The Tigers are 9-1 overall and 3-1 in the ACC and have won four games in a row, including over Florida State, Miami, and NC State. Brownell said his players were disappointed in losing some of the team’s momentum and in not being able to play against the Tar Heels

"Frustrating, a little bit, but more disappointing. We have played well, won three in a row, coming off a great win. And we were excited to go to Chapel Hill and play North Carolina,” Brownell said. “Our kids were really disappointed on Friday when we took them off the court and said we couldn't go. Guys are playing well, they want to play. And when you have rhythm and you're in a good space, that's when you want to keep playing. If things are going well, maybe a pause can be good for you.

"This will be a test for us, how we bounce back from that. It's not something you're used to doing.

"It's almost like Christmas vacation. Like taking three days. Then you come back and you never know what your guys are like. Usually the first day back isn't very good. You always talk about having to run the mashed potatoes and gravy out of them after they come back from Christmas. But hopefully it's not going to be that bad. We'll have to wait and see."

Brownell said he is hopeful the team can recapture some of that momentum ahead of this weekend’s scheduled 6 p.m. home date against a No. 22-ranked Virginia team that is 7-2 overall and 3-0 in the ACC.

"We haven't been paused that long, so we haven't done that much. We almost felt like we were going to give the guys a couple days here, we needed to give them a couple of days to figure out what's going on,” he said. “We are hopeful all of our testing comes back negative so we can get back out. Then it'll just be normal practices."

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