Nicholls State looks to shake off rust vs. LSU

·2 min read

LSU hasn't played since Dec. 14.

Nicholls State hasn't played since Dec. 1.

Both teams have lost a series of games due to COVID-19 issues and will try to make one up against each other Saturday in Baton Rouge, La.

The Tigers (4-1) had to postpone two games and cancel another before they scheduled a game against Texas Southern for Saturday, but Texas Southern canceled Thursday night because of its own COVID-19 issues.

That led to the 11th-hour addition of Nicholls State (2-3), which lost five games on the schedule when it shut down its program Dec. 7.

LSU will be playing for just the second time since Dec. 6. It saw a game against South Florida scheduled for Dec. 12 canceled and beat Sam Houston State 88-66 in a makeup game two days later.

The Tigers have not had a full complement of players for any game and they won't on Saturday either.

Coach Will Wade, who will be back on the bench after missing the Sam Houston State game because he tested positive for COVID-19, said on his radio show that the team will be missing "one major piece" Saturday.

Wade said, though, it won't be star forward Trendon Watford, who will return from a one-game absence due to an ankle injury, and that the missing player "is not sick, he's fine."

But contact tracing protocols continue to disrupt the Tigers' routine. Wade said he gave the team its Christmas break over Dec. 16-18 while they were shut down.

"We're slowly getting back," Wade said. "It's been very slow, but we'll be fully cleared to play Saturday with the vast majority of our guys."

The Colonels were gearing up for a game at No. 2 Baylor when the program was shut down.

"We want to always test ourselves against the best in the country," Nicholls coach Austin Claunch said.

The game against the Tigers doesn't figure to be quite as challenging as the one against Baylor would have been, but it does give Nicholls an important pre-conference test.

The Colonels started the season with a five-game road trip to California. They began with consecutive wins against UC Davis and Idaho State before losing to Santa Clara, California and St. Mary's.

"The biggest thing is we played all five games," Claunch said. "We got a couple of great wins and we played some great competition."

--Field Level Media