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.

Why?

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.

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
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Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: