St. John’s basketball dealing with more positive COVID-19 tests

St. John's basketball forwards Julian Champagnie and Joel Soriano (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's basketball forwards Julian Champagnie and Joel Soriano (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports) /

The St. John’s basketball team is dealign with more positive COVID-19 tests. 

It is not often when a team is only dealt one positive COVID-19 test and the St. John’s basketball program is learning that the hard way.

Nearly a week after star forward Julian Champagnie tested positive for the coronavirus and missed Saturday’s embarrassing loss to Pittsburgh, the Johnnies have received two more positive tests to center Joel Soriano and guard Tareq Coburn.

The news of the positive tests was first reported by Zach Braziller of the New York Post.

Soriano, previously a starter this season, was coming off of one of his best games since transferring to St. John’s from Fordham this offseason while Coburn, a Hofstra transfer, has seen his playing time dwindle in recent weeks.

ALSO READ: St. John’s stunned at buzzer by Pittsburgh

St. John’s game with Butler on Thursday night is still on as scheduled as the Red Storm have eight scholarship players available, which does not including freshman Drissa Traore. Traore is planning to redshirt this season and it is unclear if the Big East would make the Johnnies burn his redshirt if he were to potentially be the seventh available player as required by the conference to play a game.

Champagnie will remain out against Butler but the team is hopeful he can play against Marquette on December 29, pending his passes all cardiac testing the university requires of its athletes who test positive for COVID-19.

It is likely that the duo of Joel Soriano and Tareq Coburn will miss games against Butler, Marquette, and Georgetown on January 1, in accordance with a 10-day quarantine period set by New York State, before returning to the court on January 5 against DePaul.

St. John’s basketball opponent also dealing with injury issues

Butler will enter Queens with issues of its own as the Bulldogs were without Chuck Harris on Saturday against Purdue with a non-COVID illness as well as stars Bryce Nze (shoulder) and Bo Hodges (knee).

Nze has not played since injuring his shoulder on November 27 against Michigan State and Hodges has yet to play this season.

The Bulldogs have losses to Michigan State, Houston, and Texas A&M on its resume but were able to go on the road and defeat Oklahoma in overtime, despite its injuries.

Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. (Fox Sports 1) inside Carnesecca Arena.

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