Detroit Mercy scraps opening three games at Kentucky because of positive COVID-19 test

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Detroit — Detroit Mercy men's basketball won't participate in this week's multi-team event (MTE) at Kentucky after a member of the program's support staff tested positive for COVID-19.

No Detroit Mercy players have tested positive since testing began in earnest in October, though some are currently in quarantine for contact-tracing purposes.

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Detroit Mercy was to play Atlantic 10 favorite Richmond in the season opener Wednesday, then Kentucky on Friday, then Morehead State on Sunday.

Detroit Mercy is the only one of the four teams to pull out of the event.

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"We believe the decision to cancel our games and not travel is best for everyone's health and safety," Detroit Mercy athletic director Robert Vowels said in a statement Monday night. 

"Our student-athletes, coaches and staff have done a great job abiding by all the guidelines put forth, but with the rise in positive cases across the country, it unfortunately was able to get inside our program.

"At this point, we are hopeful that it is isolated to one individual and we will take the time this week to make sure everyone stays healthy and tests negative and hope to start our season next week."

The college basketball season gets underway Wednesday, though several programs have been shut down in recent days — including Oakland, which returned to practice Friday — amid the latest surge in coronavirus cases all over the country. Detroit Mercy's program is not sh

Detroit Mercy's game against Kentucky was to be an on-court reunion between Kentucky coach John Calipari and his son, Brad, who is a guard for the Titans.

The schools say they will try to make the game up this season, if they can agree on a date. But Detroit Mercy, per Horizon League rules, can't play a nonconference game after league play starts Dec. 19.

Twitter: @tonypaul1984