The start of the Rick Pitino Era at Iona has been pushed back to early December due to COVID | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / November 30.
  • The start of the Rick Pitino Era at Iona has been pushed back to early December due to COVID

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    The start of the Rick Pitino Era at Iona has been pushed back to early December due to COVID.

    The Gaels will host Merrimack Dec. 3 in New Rochelle and then visit Hofstra Dec. 5.

    As first reported last week by ZAGSBLOG, Iona had a positive test on its support staff and Pitino said the team’s first four games would be canceled as a result.

    The Pitino Era had initially been set to begin at Fordham’s Rose Hill Gym on Nov. 25, but now will begin more than a week later.

    In addition to the Fordham game, three games in “Bubbleville” at the Mohegan Sun Arena against UMass, Buffalo and Vermont were also canceled.

    Iona’s originally scheduled game with Wagner in New Rochelle for Dec. 5 has been canceled and replaced with the Hofstra game, the first of a three-year series. Hofstra won a rock, paper, scissors contest with Iona to determine where the first game will be played.

    Iona, picked No. 2 in the MAAC preseason poll behind Siena, will begin MAAC play with a pair of games against Monmouth Dec. 11-12 in New Rochelle.

    Pitino, who has taken four different programs to the NCAA tournament and coached two national championship teams at Kentucky and Louisville, said last week he supported the idea of the season starting in “late March or early April” with a “May Madness” for the NCAA Tournament due to the surge in COVID cases.

    Still, the NCAA Tournament will be held in one bubble city, likely Indianapolis, in March and April with Villanova coach Jay Wright calling that the “perfect site.”

    This post has been updated.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.