DePaul men's basketball cancels first three games of season due to COVID-19

DePaul is pausing all men's basketball activities due to positive COVID-19 tests and will cancel its first three games of the season, the school announced Thursday.

"We have been able to sustain a level of productivity while facing the COVID-19 pandemic during the preseason, but unfortunately, as positive cases have been increasing all around us, we now have to deal with it directly in our program," DePaul coach Dave Leitao said. "The attentiveness and understanding of the situation by our players and staff have been a priority since we all returned to campus this summer. We'll get through this together. We'll return to the practice floor and competition after we complete all mandated protocols and procedures."

The Blue Demons will miss games scheduled for Nov. 25, Nov. 28 and Dec. 1. Their first game of the season is now set for Dec. 6 at Iowa State as part of the Big East-Big 12 Battle.

"We are disappointed the men's basketball program will be unable to start the season as planned after all the hard work our student-athletes, coaches, and staff have put into preparing for these games," DePaul athletic director DeWayne Peevy said. "Flexibility and patience will continue to be paramount this season as we navigate these unique times. I appreciate the hard work and support of our medical staff and athletic trainers as they work closely with each of our programs to ensure a safe and healthy environment to study, train, practice and compete."

More than 20 men's basketball programs nationally have paused activities in the last several days. Robert Morris and St. Bonaventure joined DePaul in announcing shutdowns Thursday.