P.J. Hairston’s legal issues are now officially resolved.
Three times this summer, Hairston found himself cited for a traffic violation, the last of which was settled on Friday. Hairston was pulled over for driving 54 mph in a 45 mph zone in May in a Chevy Camaro rented by an associate of convicted felon Fats Thomas. The court date was pushed back to this past Friday, where Hairston paid a $15 fee for the ticket and $188 in court costs.
Hairston was also pulled over driving a GMC Tahoe that was rented by Thomas himself in June. He was charged with driving without a license and drug possession in that incident, but those charges were dropped. In July, Hairston got caught going 93 mph in a 65 mph zone. He was charged with reckless driving, but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and paid a fine.
While Hairston’s issues in the eyes of the court system may be resolved, they aren’t in the eyes of the NCAA and Roy Williams. Driving a car that was rented for him may be an NCAA violation, and Williams has made it quite clear that despite the fact that Hairston is currently practicing with the Tar Heels, he will miss games this season.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.