The 2014-15 season is almost here and in preparation for that we profile the players. Today we look at freshman wing player Theo Pinson.
Theo Pinson, WG/WF, 6-6, 195 lbs
One of the more notable differences between last season's version of the Tar Heels and this one will be the increased depth on the wing and upgrade in the general talent level. Leslie McDonald has departed and UNC has added freshmen Joel Berry, Theo Pinson and Justin Jackson. The play of the freshmen, from Pinson and Jackson will be crucial for UNC's success this season.
Pinson brings a variety of skills to the table. He is a long, athletic player who Roy Williams described in similar terms to Jackie Manuel. Pinson's game diverges from Manuel's on the offensive end of the court. Pinson is a capable offensive player who can shoot the ball and has the ability to score at the rim. In addition, Pinson will fit nicely into UNC's uptempo style with his ability to run the floor. Pinson has shown flashes in the Late Night scrimmage and exhibition of being both facilitator and scorer on the break.
On the defensive end, Pinson has the potential to be a solid defender. His length and size on the wing will create some match-up issues for opposing teams. Part and parcel to that potential is Pinson's overall attitude. The High Point native brings a swagger and edge that UNC lacked at times last season. Pinson is not a player that shies from the big moment and feels comfortable being in the spotlight. That might be the biggest difference in this class versus the past couple to come to Chapel Hill. Pinson and his classmates appear to be far more ready and willing to embrace impact roles. It also fits well with this team those roles are exactly the ones UNC needs filled to get over the hump.
The primary concern with Pinson is also part of what makes him a welcome addition. He is aggressive which can work in his favor at times but on other occasions might lead him to force plays. That could result in him dribbling into trouble or attempting to make a pass that simply isn't advisable. In this respect, Pinson is a high risk/high reward type of player who will need some seasoning to refine his decision making more to Roy WIlliams' liking.
Despite the potential for suspect decisions, what Pinson brings to the table in both the tangible and intangible is going to be worth the occasional headache. The added depth on the wings will allow UNC to closer to Williams' preference for tempo.