Posted: 3:59 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, 2013
By Zeke Smith
After missing on Andrew Wiggins, it didn't take long for Roy Williams to make another recruiting splash as the Heels landed 6-5 class of 2014 forward Theo Pinson on Wednesday afternoon, who was at one point the top recruit in his class and remains a consensus top-20 player among the big recruit-tracking sites (ESPN has him 13th, Scout 18th, Rivals 15th). You always feel good about seeing the words "matchup nightmare" in a description of a kid who just decided to attend your school:
His rare combination of a forward's length and a guard's skill figures to make Pinson a matchup nightmare at the next level. He's a tremendous passer who can get to the rim at will, and he can guard multiple positions on the other end of the floor.
In case you somehow missed it, that makes three five-star recruits that Roy has landed for the class of 2014 already, with Joel Berry III and Justin Jackson headed to Chapel Hill along with Pinson. That gives UNC the #1-ranked class for 2014 as of right now, although there's still plenty of time remaining for John Calipari to
throw some money at the problem recruit his way into the top spot. Most recruiting experts seemed to think he was headed to play for Tom Crean at Indiana (he also had Duke, Louisville and Georgetown on his list although most everyone seemed to think the battle was down to the Hoosiers and Heels), but Pinson cited being able to play close to his family and his great relationship with Roy as reasons for going to UNC.
One of the things I find most interesting about Carolina landing Pinson and Justin Jackson is that they seem like typical "Duke guys" in lots of ways - good on both ends of the floor; utilitarian players who have a variety of skills; they play hard and find ways to win. UNC has had a bit of an intensity vacuum since Tyler Hansbrough left Chapel Hill (which P.J. Hairston is starting to fill, thankfully) so I will more than welcome a guy who seems to go all out every time he's on the court. Take our very own Bart Matthews' analysis for example, for when he watched Pinson in the Peach Jam last summer:
His motor runs at 5,000 RPM all. game. long.[...] Theo has every tool in the basketball chest at his disposal, and while he does nothing spectacularly well, there aren't any glaring weaknesses either. He's one of those guys that's always in the right place at the right time and is an absolute emotional leader on the floor. Combine this well rounded game with a considerable amount of athleticism and the high motor, and you've got a player Duke or UNC (or anyone) would be well pleased to have on their team.
Be sure to also check out Bart's recap from seeing Pinson at the Boo Williams invitational a year ago, featuring the phrases "aggressive defense," "vocal leader" and "I'm-not-going-to-let-us-lose-this mentality." Yeah, something tells me fans are really going to like this kid. Welcome to Chapel Hill, Theo.