How a Monmouth game from November may have played a role in the Kansas-Kansas State brawl
A reserve guard for Monmouth may have planted the seed earlier this season for a Tuesday night brawl at the end of the Kansas-Kansas State game. The brawl, which resulted in suspensions for four players, happened when Kansas State guard DaJuan Gordon stole the ball from Jayhawks forward Silvio De Sousa and drove for a transition lay-up attempt in the final seconds of a blowout.
George Papas, a guard for Monmouth, did something similar against the Jayhawks in a Nov. 15 game that Kansas won 110-57. With Kansas guard Tristan Enaruna dribbling as the final seconds ran out, Papas approached Enaruna from behind, stole the ball and drove for a dunk as boos rang out at Allen Fieldhouse.
Papas appeared to taunt Kansas players after the dunk and drew a technical foul. The play drew a stern postgame rebuke from Monmouth coach King Rice as it made the rounds on social media.
“That is uncalled for,” Rice said. “That is not what our program represents. That is not what our program stands for. You get beat by a better team, you shake their hand, you walk off the court and you take in the experience.”
Kansas coach Bill Self said at the time that the Papas steal did not bother him. But it wasn’t the first time his team has been involved in a controversial garbage-time basket. There is a history of them between Kansas and Kansas State. Self scolded former Jayhawk Brannen Greene in 2016 when he dunked at the end of a blowout victory over Kansas State. Then, last season, Barry Brown returned the favor by capping a 7-point Kansas State victory over Kansas with a dunk at the buzzer.
“Shoutout Brannen Greene,” Brown said afterward.