On Friday night as No. 5 Kansas was on its way to an easy 112-57 win over Monmouth, Hawks junior guard George Papas decided he wasn't going to let the game end. At least not with KU running out the clock. And so with 15 seconds left in the game he made his move, sneaking up on freshman Tristan Enaruna as he tried to run out the clock, stealing the ball, and going coast to coast for a breakaway dunk.
To finish it off, he bowed up Enaruna, and appeared to mouth some words that typically land you in trouble. He was promptly hit with a technical as boos poured out from fans inside Allen Fieldhouse.
There's an unwritten rule in basketball that, if a game is all but decided, garbage time dunks from either time are generally frowned upon. Stealing the ball late with a game in hand falls into that same category. George Papas decided to bypass both of those in a single play. You can applaud him for playing to the whistle -- and let's give him some slack, because playing in Allen Fieldhouse isn't something most players can ever do -- but the whole sequence is just a bad look. Was cutting the lead from 55 to 53 really worth it?
"That is uncalled for," said Monmouth coach King Rice after the game. "That is not what our program represents, and is not what our program stands for. You get beat by a better team, you shake their hand and you walk off to court and you take in the experience."
Kansas coach Bill Self has had to deal with a similar incident with his own player in the past when former KU guard Brannen Greene threw down a dunk on rival Kansas State in garbage time, with KU going on to win that game 77-59. Self called that act "classless," but Friday he refrained from attacking Papas and instead pointing to the lack of ball security from Enaruna.
"We've been on Tristan the whole time about being casual, and that's a prime example of what happens when you're casual," he said. "I told the team afterwards he may be on ESPN twice for two dunks: One on him and one he got."