Question: does P.J. Hairston want to play college basketball this season?
That’s about the only question that can be asked in light of a report from USA Today that the rising junior guard was charged with speeding and careless and reckless driving after being pulled over on Sunday.
According to the story, Hairston was driving 93 mph in a 65 mph zone on Interstate 85 just outside of Webb, N.C. As a result of this run-in the school announced that Hairston has been suspended indefinitely from the program.
Hairston, who will have to appear in court on August 30 to address Sunday’s charges, is just nine days removed from having charges of possession of marijuana and driving without a license that stemmed from a June 5 traffic stop in Durham, N.C. dropped.
In mid-July North Carolina head coach Roy Williams stated that Hairston would have to pay for his offseason transgressions, and Sunday’s developments seem to have forced his hand. While Hairston was never charged for the June traffic stop, one would think that the situation would serve as a “wake-up call” of sorts.
Yes mistakes do happen, but the specter of having to deal with the consequences for his actions didn’t prevent Hairston from being pulled over Sunday. There was still going to be punishment for the earlier issues according to Williams’ statement earlier in the month, but how severe would that have been had Hairston managed to stay out of trouble for the remainder of the summer?
“Our basketball program is based on great ideals, and these issues are embarrassing,” Williams said in a statement released on July 12. “These are not common in my 10 years as head coach at UNC, and they will all be dealt with harshly and appropriately at the correct time to ensure that our program will not be compromised.”
Sunday’s development has cast some doubt on Hairston’s future as a Tar Heel, and he has no one to blame but himself for this being the case.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
Stanford guard Marcus Allen will be out indefinitely after suffering a stress fracture in his right foot, the school announced on Monday evening.
“We want to make sure Marcus is fully healthy before returning to the court,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said in a statement. “Marcus played at a high level during our summer exhibition competition in Italy, where he was one of our leading scorers. We will certainly miss him as we continue to prepare for the season, but we are fortunate that this happened now and he will be back before he knows it.”
The loss of Allen is a potentially brutal blow in an already-thin back court. The 6-foot-3 Allen started 23 games as a sophomore last season, averaging 6.4 points and 3.5 boards. But he averaged 11.4 points and 5.4 boards as the Cardinal made a run to the NIT championship and looked poised to be able to replace the departed Chasson Randle’s production this year.
What’s worse is that without Allen, Stanford does not return a single player in their back court that averaged more than 11.5 minutes. Sophomore Robert Cartwright looks poised to step into the starting point guard role, but neither Dorian Pickens nor Christian Sanders looked like they were ready for that kind of role in the Pac-12 last season. Dawkins does return Malcolm Allen, Marcus’ twin brother, who sat out last season with a broken wrist.
The good news is that Stanford’s front court is strong enough to carry the Cardinal until Marcus is healthy. Rosco Allen, Reid Travis and Michael Humphrey will be able to hold their own against any front line in the Pac-12, while Grant Verhoeven and freshman Josh Sharma will provide adequate depth.
Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.
Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.
Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.