P.J. Hairston

Report: NCAA investigating link between P.J. Hairston and agent


In the aftermath of North Carolina guard P.J. Hairston’s arrest on charges of possession of marijuana and driving without a license, many have asked two important questions that have yet to be answered.

Who rented the car Hairston was driving from Hertz? Also, who was the owner of the gun found outside of the vehicle?

Law enforcement officials have yet to divulge the answer to either of those questions, and it may be a while before we learn anything more about the criminal aspects of the case.

However, in other news involving Hairston the NCAA has begun to investigate the relationship between Hairston and NBA agent Rodney Blackstock according to Big Lead Sports. According to the story both Hairston and Blackstock, who are both natives of Greensboro, have known each other for years.

What adds to the intrigue is the fact that this isn’t the first time in recent months that Blackstock’s name has come up in regards to a relationship with a talented college basketball player:

Blackstock was in the news recently when it was revealed that he paid the AAU coach of Kansas star Ben McLemore thousands of dollars “on behalf of sports agents and financial advisers” who were courting McLemore.

Could the NCAA looking into the relationship between Hairston and Blackstock eventually lead to answering of the rental car question? Yes, but that could also be learned by way of the police investigation that’s also ongoing.

What could be at stake (if the NCAA finds anything of consequence) is Hairston’s eligibility for the 2013-14 season, one in which the Tar Heels will rely on him to be their primary perimeter scoring option with Reggie Bullock having entered the NBA Draft.

But even with the NCAA sniffing around, his eligibility for the upcoming season is the least of Hairston’s concerns with that legal case still open.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.