UB basketball coach Jim Whitesell to miss Wednesday’s game due to Covid-19

Sports

Jim Whitesell (Courtesy of Paul Hokanson/UB Athletics)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The University at Buffalo men’s basketball team will be without head coach Jim Whitesell when it opens conference play Wednesday due to Covid-19.

The team announced Tuesday that assistant coach Angres Thorpe will serve as acting head coach against Miami while Whitesell remains in Covid protocols. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. at Alumni Arena.

UB is 6-4 on the year and has high hopes for this season after being picked first in the Mid-American Conference preseason poll. The Bulls haven’t played since Dec. 18, when they lost to Canisius on a buzzer-beater in the Big 4 Tripleheader at KeyBank Center.

Whitesell’s absence could be limited to just one game – UB’s next two games have already been postponed due to Covid cases on opposing teams. After Wednesday’s MAC opener, the team is scheduled to play next on Jan. 8 against Bowling Green.

Whitesell is no stranger to the havoc of the pandemic: Last season, he coached one game from the stands after his wife tested positive and had to watch others from a hotel.

“I was doing Zoom meetings, watching practice, making notes. That was no fun. That was bizarre,” Whitesell said last season. “Watching games on TV. It was crazy. My staff did a wonderful job, but for me it was frustrating and hard.”

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Nick Veronica is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a Digital Executive Producer in 2021. He previously worked at NBC Sports and The Buffalo News. You can follow Nick on Facebook and Twitter and find more of his work here.

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