Following the game between the Syracuse Orange and Miami Hurricanes men’s basketball teams on Tuesday night, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim divulged that both Buddy Boeheim and Joe Girard tested positive for COVID-19 during the team’s most recent pause. Shortly after SU’s Dec. 19 game against Buffalo, the Bulls basketball program announced a positive test. Syracuse subsequently went on pause and didn’t play again until Jan. 6.
“I think Buddy is just starting to get his rhythm back a little but from all the time out and having the covid, the whole thing,” the elder Boeheim said. “Both Joe and Buddy were out with it. They were out. They were sick and they were out.”
Despite the positive tests, Girard has averaged 31.2 minutes per game in the five games since while the younger Boeheim has averaged 36.4. Against Miami, both players scored 23 points a piece and had their best combined shooting performance of the season.
“Having asthma my parents and the staff was pretty worried about it,” Girard said post-game. “But you know, healthy kid, college athlete and I’m pretty healthy.”
Girard has been struggling to put together consistent games in his sophomore season. In the five games since testing positive for coronavirus, he’s scored 8, 18, 6, 2 and 23 points, respectively.
“It takes a while to get back from that. There’s no question,” head coach Boeheim said. “That’s not something that’s easy. You don’t practice for ten days and then you’ve got to get your strength back and that takes time. This is the best they’ve both played all year.”
Girard said the fatigue weighed on him the most. Getting out of bed was difficult and he felt the urge to lay back down and go back to sleep. He experienced other symptoms, which he said didn’t affect him as much as the fatigue.
“A few days I had a sore throat. I think just the biggest thing for me, and I think Buddy said the same thing, you’re so tired. The disease just made me really tired, I was really tired.”
Girard said he attempted to do pushups and sit-ups in quarantine to stay in shape. He lost his sense of smell and revealed that he’s just getting his taste back. In an act of levity, he sent his backcourt mate a video during the isolation period of him smelling hot sauce, but he couldn’t smell it.
“Buddy and I both don’t like making excuses. We like competing. I don’t want to speak for him but I know for myself — and I’m guessing for him — we just love playing. Whether we’re sick, whether we’re hurt or anything like that we’re just going to go out there and give it 110 percent.”
Girard was the only player made available to media after the Miami game. He said he’s been going on walks in his down time. He’s also gone back to the well of Jimmer Fredette for advice.
“I’ve actually been texting Jimmer the past few days,” Girard divulged. “He’s been helping me out with some stuff to do, just to stay mentally healthy as well. Jimmer’s been telling me to read books, puzzles, stuff like that.
“I don’t know if I’m back to 100 percent from it, but I’m pretty close. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel good. I feel pretty good right now,” Girard said.