The Michigan Wolverines athletic department has been shut down since Jan. 23, which has been headlined by the fouth-ranked men’s basketball team being on the shelf. Despite the two-week shutdown coming to an end this weekend, it may take a while to ease back into games.
According to a report from Chris Balas of The Wolverine, Michigan’s next scheduled game on Feb. 11 against Illinois likely will not be played. The Feb. 14 game at Wisconsin is also up in the air.
SOURCES: Michigan basketball won't play its Feb. 11 home game with Illinois, and the Wisconsin game Feb. 14 is up in the air. The first game back might be Feb. 18 at Rutgers. More ... #GoBlue https://t.co/Pm0ccrSijD— Chris Balas (@Balas_Wolverine) February 3, 2021
Players have been in quarantine since the shutdown was put into place at the recommendation of the state due to the strain of the UK variant of COVID-19 in the community. This has left them on their own to condition and strain in their dorms with resistance bands, jogging in place, etc. They are going to need the time to practice and get shots up with each other.
If Balas’ report is accurate — and there’s nothing to suggest it isn’t — that would put Michigan in line to return to action on Feb. 18 against Rutgers. They may have to play some makeup games on short rest, but given how the conference was willing to shift things around for Ohio State to win the conference in football, one would think the criteria can shift here, as well.
Michigan should not be in a rush to resume to action. They hold an advantage at the top of the standings and are one of the best teams in college basketball, so to get it right and ease your way back into action might be the best option for all parties. We’ll see what happens, but there could be a flurry of information and games coming down the stretch of the season.