With just two days until Tennessee travels to Lawrence, Kan. to take on the Kansas Jayhawks in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, Kansas head coach Bill Self has begun the process of suspending players in lieu of the game-ending fight between Kansas and Kansas State Tuesday night.
Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa has officially been suspended indefinitely for his role in the bench-clearing brawl, according to a statement made by the university Wednesday morning.
“I have suspended Silvio De Sousa indefinitely pending the final outcome of the review by KU and the Big 12 Conference,” said coach Self in the released statement. “As I said last night, we are disappointed in his actions and there is no place for that behavior.”
Benches emptied at the end of the Kansas State-Kansas game. pic.twitter.com/zWv46h3RJC
— ESPN (@espn) January 22, 2020
The timing of the incident plays in the favor of the Vols, who will face No. 3 Kansas this upcoming Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.
The 6’9” suspended sophomore has averaged 2.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 0.1 assists in his 18 games played for the Jayhawks this season.
The playing field should be evened out slightly more with the loss of De Sousa, seeing that Tennessee has been outmatched on the court by taller teams consistently this season.
Coming out of an 18-point career high outing against Ole Miss, Tennessee junior John Fulkerson should be one of the key UT players expected to take advantage of the suspensions, along with Yves Pons and Uros Plavsic.
Judging by how chaotic the actual brawl was on Tuesday night, the suspensions handed out likely won’t stop with De Sousa, even though he was the only name announced in the initial statement.
“It is only 10 a.m. and we are still in the process of communicating with league office officials and everything else,” Self said during a BIG 12 coaches teleconference earlier Wednesday morning. “Regardless of any of that, there will be consequences and there will be penalties.”
Junior guard Marcus Garrett and sophomore forward David McCormack were also seen in the middle of the on-court scrum and could likely be a part of the next round of suspensions announced by Kansas.
Both teams have won four out of its last five, with Tennessee edging out Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, and Missouri and only suffering a loss on the road to Georgia. Kansas has won three straight against Kansas State, Texas, and Oklahoma, but lost to the now top ranked Baylor Bears in mid-January.
The college basketball world hasn’t seen a brawl to this extent in some time, so it seems fair to expect Kansas, the Big 12, and the NCAA to make a statement out of the Kansas suspensions. Then again, following FBI recruiting investigations and a wild Snoop Dogg appearance from Kansas, it’s safe to say that statement being made could go a number of different directions.
— no context college basketball (@CBBNoContext) January 22, 2020