Tuesday, July 16, 2013
3-point shot: UNC mulling Hairston options
By Andy Katz
1. The investigation into North Carolina's P.J. Hairston continues without a resolution as the legal system and likely the NCAA system sort through the reports of his arrest and how he obtained access to a rental car, respectively, according to USA Today and the Raleigh News &Observer. UNC coach Roy Williams had largely been quiet on the subject until Monday. And while it was fair game to criticize the initial lack of action, it is worth noting that Williams didn't hide behind a faux summer suspension. Too often we've seen players suspended in the offseason with little consequence when the season actually matters. So, that's why it's good to hear Williams cut through the nonsense and say in a statement that he had several conversations with Hairston and added there would be "serious consequences.'' He added, "Certainly the idea of suspending P.J. has been discussed. However, he is not currently enrolled in summer school, is not practicing with the team and we have no games until November. There are several options available in terms of discipline but we are going to wait until the process is complete to decide on those options." Based on these statements it would seem to be a long shot for Hairston to start the season without some sort of discipline and absence from games. A suspension in November or December has teeth -- one in July does not.
2. Two years ago at the A-10 media day, La Salle coach John Giannini expressed no remorse over the departure of his perceived most talented player Aaric Murray. He was trouble for the Explorers and no one was whining over his departure to seek playing time elsewhere. West Virginia took him. Now the Mountaineers have essentially dumped him. Murray may find another team to take him -- someone always does. But his professional basketball career prospects have taken a major hit. If a team from the NBA is tantalized by his talent but calls Giannini or Bob Huggins they'll hardly get a good report. Murray has done more damage to himself than to either La Salle or West Virginia. The Explorers went to the Sweet 16 without him. That should send a clear message of how much he affects a team or the game.
3. The more we reviewed our bracket unveiling the various tournaments, including the Legends Classic, the more it became apparent Stanford could be a real sleeper nationally. The Cardinal should be a contender in the Pac-12. The Cardinal have the anchors and experience in Chasson Randle, Aaron Bright, Dwight Powell and Josh Huestis. Stanford will have plenty of chances to make a name for itself early in the season, especially by playing twice on the East Coast in the Legends Classic with Pitt in Brooklyn and playing at UConn.