Villanova head coach Jay Wright says a flu bug has been going through his team over the last week, and that some Wildcats players will be affected for Sunday’s Big 5 opener against La Salle at the Palestra.
Wright said freshman guard Jordan Longino will be out, and two other players will play despite being at less than full strength.
“They’ve been cleared of not being contagious, but they’ve been out and still not feeling 100% yet,” Wright said Saturday on a Zoom call with reporters. “I don’t want to say which ones, but we’ve had a few this week, and last weekend.”
The Wildcats (3-2), whose last game was an 80-74 loss to Purdue last Sunday at the Hall of Fame Tipoff Classic in Uncasville, Conn., have had shorter practices this week, Wright said, and when some players showed symptoms, “we kept them away.”
To have an extra body available Sunday, Wright said he is adding fifth-year senior forward Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree to the active roster. Cosby-Roundtree missed all of last season with stress fractures to both tibias, and was not expected to be able to play this season.
Wright said that while Cosby-Roundtree has been used sparingly in drills, he had participated in practice for three straight days this past week.
“He said he’s feeling good and he looks good, so we’re just going to make him available,” he said. “Just with the guys we’ve had sick, and having another body, we thought if he could go 3-4 days in a row and feel good … we just don’t know how he’ll react once he starts playing games or going this many days in a row. He definitely wants to.”
Wright said Cosby-Roundtree has been “a real inspirational part of our team” and has done “a great job with the young guys teaching them, coaching them up.”
La Salle (2-2) won its last game, 61-58, on Nov. 20 at home against Army. A program spokesman said one or two players were “fighting a bug” during that game, but added there was “nothing really of note” this week.