Roy Williams

Haydn ‘Fats’ Thomas was in court on Tuesday on drug, gun charges

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Without question, the biggest concern that readers of this site have regarding Haydn ‘Fats’ Thomas is whether or not he has any connection to an NBA agent.


Because he spent more that $15,000 no rental cars since February, according to a report from USA Today. One of the cars he rented was being driven by PJ Hairston when he was caught driving on a suspended license with weed in his car last month. Another car rented by a woman that lives with Thomas was being driven by Hairston when he was pulled over for speeding.

If it turns out that the money used to rent those cars was funneled to Fats by an agent — remember, the NCAA is investigating Hairston’s relationship with Rodney Blackstock, the man that was tangled up in the Ben McLemore story from back in May — than Hairston’s NCAA career could be in serious jeopardy.

But for Fats, the NCAA is the least of his worries, as he was in court on Tuesday facing felony drug and gun charges. Those are the kind of guys that you want hanging out with your basketball players, ain’t that right Roy Williams? From Laura Keeley of the Raleigh News & Observer (emphasis mine):

Thomas […] was represented Tuesday in court by his lawyer, Randy Griffin. The assistant district attorney announced that the state has offered Thomas a plea and that the U.S. Attorney, Ripley Rand, has expressed an interest in the case. The judge, Jim Hardin, agreed to keep the case in the same setting and set the next court appearance for Aug. 19th.

When asked why the U.S. attorney was interested in Thomas, Griffin said, “I don’t know, maybe the State fans called him.”

Griffin is likely referring to this thread from the Pack Pride message board for NC State fans where the identity of Fats was first made public.

Basketball runs deep down in the Triangle.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.