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WSU Men's Basketball
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Washington State basketball coach Kyle Smith tests positive for COVID-19, will miss first game

UPDATED: Wed., Nov. 18, 2020

Washington State head coach Kyle Smith during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Arizona Thursday, March 5, 2020, in Tucson, Ariz. Arizona won 83-62.  (Associated Press)
Washington State head coach Kyle Smith during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Arizona Thursday, March 5, 2020, in Tucson, Ariz. Arizona won 83-62. (Associated Press)

Washington State men’s basketball coach Kyle Smith has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the Cougars’ season opener against Texas Southern, according to a press release from the school.

Earlier this week, Smith received a positive antigen test, which was later confirmed by a PCR test. No other members of the WSU program have been placed in COVID-19 protocol, the school confirmed.

“I’m actually feeling pretty well,” Smith said on Wednesday’s WSU coaches show. “A lot of people sent their well wishes and just wanted everyone to know that. Hopefully there’s not another wave coming. I don’t want to speak too soon, but I do feel pretty good. Glad we caught it when we did. No one else has been infected that we know of.”

Pac-12 and CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) protocols mean Smith will have to self-isolate before returning to WSU’s bench, meaning the second-year coach will miss the team’s season Nov. 25 opener against the Tigers.

Second-year assistant coach Jim Shaw will serve as the team’s acting coach .

Shaw has prior head coaching experience, coaching four seasons at his alma mater, Western Oregon, and compiling a record of 102-30 while leading the Wolves to the No. 1 ranking in the country.

It’s unclear if Smith will be available to coach WSU’s second game on Nov. 28 against Eastern Washington at Beasley Coliseum.

Smith also said on the radio show that he has missed just one shootaround in 28 years of coaching.

“I was informed last night that I had tested positive for COVID-19 after experiencing some minor symptoms,” Smith said in the school’s release. “I will continue to follow the advice of our medical staff and follow their guidance to get back to the team as soon as possible. I will continue to stay connected remotely and know our staff and players will work diligently leading into our first game next week. Go Cougs!”

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