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.

Creighton lands 2016 combo guard

Greg McDermott
Associated Press
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Sunday evening Creighton got on the board in the Class of 2016, as 6-foor-4 combo guard Davion Mintz made his pledge to Greg McDermott’s program. Mintz made the decision on the tail end of his official visit to Creighton, picking the Bluejays over Georgia Tech, Kansas State, Tulsa and Wichita State.

News of Mintz’s commitment was first reported by Rick Lewis of the Phenom Hoop Report, with Mintz confirming the news via Twitter shortly thereafter.

Creighton has just two seniors on its current roster in guard Jams Milliken and forward Geoffrey Groselle, but that doesn’t mean they lack for experience. Among the guards on the roster who will be around when Mintz arrives on campus are redshirt juniors Maurice Watson Jr., Malik Albert, and Isaiah Zierden, and Kansas State transfer Marcus Foster will be eligible in 2016-17.

Mintz, who attends North Mecklenberg HS just outside of Charlotte, can play either on or off the basketball. Creighton’s veteran guards should help Mintz with his transition to the college game when he arrives in Omaha in 2016. Mintz played for the Charlotte Nets grassroots program this summer.

Three-star power forward commits to WVU

Bob Huggins
Associated Press
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Three days after landing one power forward in Sagaba Konate, West Virginia received a verbal commitment from another big man Sunday evening.

6-foot-11 Mountain Mission School (Gurndy, Virginia) power forward Maciej Bender became the Mountaineers’ fourth commitment in the Class of 2016 on Sunday, with the Mountain Mission program announcing the news via Twitter. Bender is a native of Poland, and in addition to Konate he joins guards Brandon Knapper and Chase Harler in West Virginia’s 2016 recruiting class.

West Virginia will lose two forwards in TyQuane Goard and Jonathan Holton at the end of the 2015-16 season, and the additions of Konate and Bender will help the Mountaineers account for those departures from a depth standpoint. Bender can score around the basket, but he’s also capable of facing up and scoring in pick-and-pop situations out beyond the three-point line.

Bender officially visited West Virginia last weekend, and he was a player the WVU coaching staff wanted to get in the fold. Other programs to offer Bender included Arizona State (teammate Jethro Tshisumpa is an ASU commit), Georgia, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss and Providence. Bender played his grassroots basketball for the West Virginia Wildcats program this summer.