North Carolina v Kansas

Report: Another Hairston to Haydn Thomas link emerges


USA Today is really on top of things this summer. Eric Prisbell, the paper’s college basketball reporter, has found evidence of an earlier traffic stop in which Hairston was driving a car with ties to Haydn Thomas. Thomas is the man whose name appears on the rental receipt for the 2013 Yukon that Hairston was driving on June 5, when he was pulled over and arrested for marijuana possession.

Read CBT’s previous coverage of P.J. Hairston’s troublesome summer.

Now, evidence of a previous traffic stop has emerged, with arrows once again pointing from Hairston to Thomas.

From the USA Today report:

North Carolina’s leading scorer last basketball season, P.J. Hairston, was cited for speeding May 13 while driving a Hertz rental car that was paid for by a woman who shares a Durham address with Haydn Thomas, a convicted felon whose rented sports utility vehicle Hairston was driving when he was arrested last month.

Hairston was cited for speeding while driving a 2012 Chevrolet Camaro SS with Virginia license plates, a Durham County District Court clerk said. The Camaro was paid for by a woman named Catinia Farrington, whose Durham address matches that of Thomas, according to the Hertz receipt obtained by USA TODAY Sports.

Thomas has claimed he does not know Hairston, and that a series of coincidences resulted in Hairston driving his rental car. This second link, as circuitous as it may be, throws some doubt on that statement. We will, as always, keep an eye on this story, and tell you the minute we learn more.

Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.

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.