This week has provided a mixed bag of sorts for North Carolina fans when it comes to the future of guard P.J. Hairston. On one hand, there’s the good news that there will be no additional criminal charges in the case that resulted in Hairston’s being cited on charges of driving without a license and misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
But on the flip side there’s the information found in the official police report, with Hairston stating that Hadyn “Fats” Thomas rented the GMC Yukon for Hairston so the Tar Heel could drive down to Atlanta to meet up with some friends.
Obviously this would be an issue when it comes to the possible violation of NCAA rules, which could ultimately compromise Hairston’s eligibility.
The report, which has not been released publicly, was obtained by the Raleigh News & Observer.
“Mr. Hairston stated that ‘Fats’ rented the vehicle for Mr. Hairston because he was planning on traveling to Atlanta this weekend to see some friends,” the report said.
Thomas told USA Today in an interview last week that he doesn’t know Hairston, but he told The N&O later that he knows UNC athletes through parties. He could not be reached. The Yukon and other vehicles Thomas has rented have turned up on UNC’s campus, a parking ticket database shows.
Prior to learning the details of the police report stories seemed to change on a frequent basis, especially the ones delivered by “Fats” Thomas. Thomas (who’s had multiple run-ins with the law) originally claimed that he rented the car for Faulcon, whose mother stated in an interview with USA Today that Miykael had no relationship with “Fats”.
With this being the second rental connected to Thomas that Hairston has been connected to, it’s only a matter of time before the NCAA gets involved. And with the many dots that are to be connected, that may not end well for North Carolina’s leading scorer.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — He’s back.
For the first time this season — and for the first time in more than a year that he hasn’t been hampered with some kind of foot or ankle injury — Marcus Paige donned a North Carolina jersey, and it didn’t take him long to find the form that made him the NBCSports.com Preseason National Player of the Year.
On the first Tar Heel possession, Paige came off of a ball-screen, drove the lane and found Kennedy Meeks at the rim for a layup. Not 30 seconds later, he came off of a down screen and buried a three. Paige would finish with 20 points and five assists as No. 9 North Carolina put together a fairly resounding win over No. 2 Maryland in the Dean Dome on Tuesday night, winning 89-81.
Paige finished 7-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, hitting a number of threes in the second half that helped hold off a Maryland push sparked by their own all-american point guard, Melo Trimble.
Trimble was erratic early on, committing three turnovers in the first six minutes and eight on the night, but it was his play at the end of the first half and early second half that kept North Carolina from blowing their doors. At one point, Maryland was down 32-19 and in danger of getting run out of Tobacco Road.
In total, Trimble finished with 23 points and 12 assists, hitting four big threes during that stretch. He either scored or assisted on 11 of Maryland’s first 12 second half field goals.
As good as Paige was, the bigger story may actually be Joel Berry II. He took two dumb threes in the first half — which played a role in Maryland being able to make this a game — and he missed a few free throws late, but overall he was terrific. He finished with 14 points and five assists, making 3-of-5 threes and turning the ball over just twice. He’s clearly beat Nate Britt out at the point guard spot, and his ability to take pressure off of Paige as a secondary ball-handler and playmaker is huge.
(More to come from Chapel Hill…)
North Carolina is hosting No. 2 Maryland in a heated contest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Terps sophomore guard Melo Trimble is playing very well and part of his performance was dropping North Carolina’s Nate Britt with a crossover in the second half.
(H/T: The Cauldron)