Hey fellow Wolfpackers, it’s July so that means it’s the slowest sports news cycle of the year but there have been a few headlines across the web over the past few days that I’d like to post just so we don’t let the news pass us by.
First we’ll start off with a little NC State basketball news. Mark Gottfried held his summer press conference and to say expectations are 180 out from last year would be an understatement not to mention ton of questions for next year’s squad. You can watch the PC here.
Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
No matter what, Wolfpack wonâ€™t have to worry about being underachievers in 2013-14
â€œI go to the grocery store and the guy (there) says â€˜hang in coach. Itâ€™s going to be a long year,â€™â€ Gottfried said earlier this week at his annual summer press conference. â€œI hear it everywhere I go.â€
Can sophomore forward T.J. Warren become a consistently dominant force while learning, in his coachâ€™s words, to be â€œas interested in his defensive and rebounding as he is scoring?â€
Will Turner live up to his advance billing as a potential star on the wing?
How long will it take Lee to adjust to the higher level of competition?
Who will emerge as the teamâ€™s leaders?
Will this yearâ€™s team learn to play defense better than their predecessors?
Can point guards Tyler Lewis and Cat Barber learn to coexist in the same backcourt?
Will fifth-year center Jordan Vandenberg finally be able to make a significant contribution? And if not, can one of three untested big men â€“ Beejay Anya, Lennard Freeman and Kyle Washington â€“ develop fast enough to fill the void?
GoPack.com also did all the legwork for the local papers and the write-ups from Gott’s PC.
To carry on with the theme of basketball here’s a list of ACC players on NBA Summer League Teams. Of note are:
Celtics: Nolan Smith, guard, Duke; Courtney Fells, forward, N.C. State
Knicks: C.J. Leslie, forward, N.C. State; Iman Shumpert, guard, Georgia Tech
Nuggets: Erick Green, guard, Virginia Tech; Richard Howell, forward, N.C. State; C.J. Harris, guard, Wake Forest
Timberwolves: Lorenzo Brown, guard, N.C. State
Clippers: Reggie Bullock, guard, UNC; Scott Wood, forward, N.C. State
Wizards: Devin Booker, forward, Clemson; Dennis Horner, forward, N.C. State; Glen Rice Jr,, guard, Georgia Tech; Chris Singleton, forward, Florida State;
Let’s also take the time to recognize what an amazing year the Wolfpack Baseball team had and what a job Avent did. NC State’s Elliott Avent earned recognition as the ABCA Atlantic Region Coach of the Year.
NC State head coach Elliott Avent has been named the 2013 ABCA Atlantic Region Coach of the Year, the American Baseball Coaches Association announced Wednesday.
In 2013, Avent guided the Wolfpack to its first 50-win season in program history and took NC State to its first College World Series since 1968. The Pack finished the year ranked No. 5 nationally, the highest final ranking for the baseball team since 1968.
On to the gridiron. With the Red Light practically burned out from all the football commitments I’m sure it’s hard to keep track of who is currently part of #Pack14. You’re in luck, accsports.com has an update for you.
Finally I wanted to point out a few headlines that have hit the street over the past few days concerning the “fine and upstanding” university a few miles to the west of Raleigh.
Eric Prisbell (USA Today)
N.C. man says he rented car P.J. Hairston was driving
The 2013 GMC Yukon rental car that North Carolina leading scorer P.J. Hairston was driving at the time of his June 5 arrest had been rented by a man named Haydn Thomas, according to the rental receipt obtained by USA TODAY Sports.
Thomas, 39, of Durham, said he rented the car for himself and that a friend, Miykael Faulcon of Durham, had borrowed the car to go to a store when the arrest occurred.
“I don’t know P.J. Hairston,” Thomas told USA TODAY Sports. “I know Miykael, his friend. I don’t know anyone at Carolina. I don’t even like the Carolina team. Look at the age disparity between me and those boys. I could be their father.”
Thomas rented the car at 10 p.m. June 2 at the Hertz location at Raleigh Durham International Airport, and the car was returned at 10:30 p.m. June 5. Thomas was charged $1261.64, according to the receipt. The license plate number on the rental receipt matches the one listed on the Durham (N.C.) police report of Hairston’s arrest, as does the year, make and model of the vehicle.
So Thomas didn’t know Hairston, but hold on a second what about this….
Eric Prisbell (USA Today)
Second rental links UNC’s P.J. Hairston to Haydn Thomas
North Carolina’s leading scorer last basketball season, P.J. Hairston, was cited for speeding May 13 while driving a Hertz rental car that was paid for by a woman who shares a Durham address with Haydn Thomas, a convicted felon whose rented sports utility vehicle Hairston was driving when he was arrested last month.
Hairston was cited for speeding while driving a 2012 Chevrolet Camaro SS with Virginia license plates, a Durham County District Court clerk said. The Camaro was paid for by a woman named Catinia Farrington, whose Durham address matches that of Thomas, according to the Hertz receipt obtained by USA TODAY Sports.
The license plates on the Camaro that Hairston was driving match the ones on the rental receipt for Farrington, as does the make and model of the vehicle. And the address Farrington lists on the rental receipt matches the address Thomas lists on his voter registration.
Thomas told USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday that he did not know Hairston, who was arrested June 5 on possession of marijuana charges while driving a 2013 GMC Yukon that Thomas rented. Thomas said that he rented the Yukon for himself and that a friend, Miykael Faulcon of Durham, had borrowed the car to go to a store when the arrest occurred. Thomas said in a telephone interview that Hairston followed him on Twitter only because “I promote parties.”
Thomas said Wednesday that neither the NCAA nor officials from North Carolina had reached out to him to talk with him about his relationship with Hairston. He added that he is not a University of North Carolina athletic booster nor is he connected to a sports agent.
Wait, I’m a little confused now. Did he know him or not?
Laura Keeley (N&O)
Felon who rented car in Hairston case clarifies ties to UNC, athletes
Haydn â€œFatsâ€ Thomas, the convicted felon who rented the SUV that North Carolina basketball player P.J. Hairston was driving at the time of his arrest, has business ties to an adjunct faculty member at the UNC School of Dentistry and is more familiar with UNC athletes than he claimed earlier in the week.
In a July 3 interview with USA Today, Thomas said he didnâ€™t know Hairston or anyone at North Carolina. He clarified that statement in a phone interview Friday.
â€œWe throw parties, for Christâ€™s sake,â€ Thomas said when asked how he knew UNC athletes.
â€œWhen I said I donâ€™t know them, I meant, I donâ€™t know you, but youâ€™re talking to me now, right? So I guess I met you.â€
Oh, well, that clears everything up.
Thomas declined to comment further on his familiarity with UNC athletes. A picture of former UNC and current Milwaukee Bucks basketball player John Henson was sent out in July 2012 from Thomasâ€™ Twitter account, which has since been deleted.