P.J. Hairston Finds Work

Well looks like a little NCAA violation wouldn’t stop P.J. Hairston from pursing his basketball career. The former UNC shooting guard will join the Texas Legends in the NBA Developmental League this year. Hairston is expected to play in his first game on Saturday January 18th. Hairston will also be the first player ever to get signed by a D-League team midway through the college basketball season. The Greensboro, NC native was supposed to play for the Tar Heelsthis season, but due to some illegal benefits via rental car, he was suspended by the NCAA. He was not reinstated because he used rental vehicles tied to a felon and party promoter in Durham. He finished his short career with the Tar Heels after averaging 14.6 points and 4.3 rebounds last season. The 21-year-old has decided to take this route knowing that he wouldn’t play another game at North Carolina. He should be a great prospect due to his shooting range, shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc last season. The question is: will Hairston succeed at the next level? I think so. It will take him some time to adjust to the speed and talent of the NBA, but I’m sure the former Tar Heel will be wearing an NBA jersey next year.


Arkansas Razorbacks Earning Respect

Usually when people think of the University of Arkansas, the first thing that comes to their mind is their football program and motorcycle accidents. As of last Tuesday night, people are now thinking about their basketball program. After losing to Florida in overtime on January 11th, Arkansas bounced back to beat 13th ranked Kentucky 87-85 in overtime at home. The Razorbacks didn’t start off their SEC play well, losing two straight to Texas A&M and Florida, but then they notched their first SEC win against Kentucky. That loss to Arkansas was the first SEC loss by the Wildcats this season. It was all due to sophomore Michael Qualls’ put-back dunk with less than a second left that propelled the Razorbacks to victory.

Before conference games started this season, Arkansas was 11-2. What’s the secret to their success? A talented freshmen class and great coaching by Mike Anderson. The Razorback coach has these players playing as a team. They’re 15th in the nations in points per game (84.7) and 20th in assists per game (16.4). No one is selfish (the leading scorer has only 13 points per game) and leaders are stepping up (Coty Clarke is just one of five seniors on the team). As for the freshmen class, Bobby Portis is second on the team in points per game with 12.4. He is also the leader in rebounds with 6.6 per game. Nowadays if you’re a freshman and you’re not playing well, everyone looks down on you. The level of expectations for playing as a freshman has been set at an all-time high with Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker on the scene. Portis is helping this Razorback team in so many ways. Michael Qualls and Rashad Madden are slowly turning into superstars at Arkansas and they are making these Razorbacks fun to watch. Look out for these guys come February and March, because they have bracket buster written all over them.

Cristiano Ronaldo: Another Addition to His Legacy

Cristiano Ronaldo won his second FIFA Ballon d’Or award last Monday and it’s just another reason why he is one of the greatest soccer players to ever play the game. I personally think that Lionel Messi has the potential to be the greatest ever, but Ronaldo is making him work for it. Let’s review on some of Ronaldo’s achievements:

He holds the Real Madrid record for most goals scored in one La Liga season (46). Ronaldo scored 40 in 2010-11 and then he broke the record the very next season scoring 46. That made him the first European leage player to reach 40 goals in two consecutive seasons. He would finish the 2011-12 season with 60 total goals. He is also the fastest player to reach 200 goals in Real Madrid history. Not only that, but he is also Portugal’s all-time top scorer with 47 international goals. For the La Liga, he is the first player to score a goal against every team in the league in a single season. Then he also holds the world record as the most expensive player in the world. When he was transferred from Manchester United to Real Madrid, the transfer was worth 80 million euros (that’s $131.6 million). The best part about all of this is that he is only 28 years old (he turns 29 on February 5th). That shows that he still has many more years left ahead of him. Now after saying all that, I’m going to compare him to Lionel Messi:

Messi holds the record for most Ballon d’Or awards with 4. He holds the record more scoring the most goals in La Liga history with 50 in one year (2011-12). He is also the top scorer in La Liga history with 223 goals. Messi is also younger than Ronaldo at 26.

So who is the better player? I go with Messi all the way, but that shouldn’t overshadow Ronaldo’s fantastic career. Everyone knew that he was going to be a special player after that 2006-07 season with Manchester United. Could Ronaldo catch up to Messi’s success? You just never know.