The Augusta University men’s basketball team will open the 2020-21 season on Wednesday night at Christenberry Fieldhouse against Peach Belt Conference opponent Lander at 6 p.m.
They will do so without any fans in attendance.
On November 24, the university announced all men’s and women’s home games would be closed to fans until at least January 5.
“It’s quite unique this year,” said head coach Dip Metress. It will, indeed, be a season unlike any other for Metress, who begins his 17th season in charge of the Jaguars.
“I’m in this (game) as a coach for 30-plus years, I’ve never dealt with something like this,” added Metress. “But hey, we’re in the gym, we’re playing. We get a chance to play tomorrow, and we’re looking forward to it,” said Metress.
Much of this year’s AU team was part of the group that reached the NCAA DII Sweet Sixteen in 2019. In March, they were travelling to the first round of the 2020 NCAA DII Tournament, when they learned the rest of the season had been canceled.
This year’s college basketball season, will be very much day-to-day, due to COVID-19 concerns and protocols.
“You can throw away your permanent maker and you can throw away your calendar,” said Metress, waiving a black marker before practice on Tuesday at Christenberry Fieldhouse.
“Things change hourly, games change hourly, practice times change hourly so, you just have to go with the flow,” added Metress.
Adapting to whatever it takes to play, is something Metress, and the rest of his team, are happy to do.
“It will be a challenging year to navigate COVID, but for the most part, we’ve done a good job and we get a chance to play at six o’clock tomorrow night,” finished Metress.
Fans can watch the game live on the Augusta Jaguars website.