If Joel Berry is the heart of the Tar Heels, Theo Pinson is the soul. The senior roommates play very different roles on the team, but both are absolutely irreplaceable to Roy Williams and the 2017-2018 Heels.
Carolina needed to pick up a conference victory on the road, and even though Notre Dame was missing Bonzie Colson and Matt Farrell, the Fighting Irish were not interested in rolling over easily. Carolina found themselves in a fight to the very end, and it was Pinson who did a little of everything to put the team over the top.
No, Pinson didn’t score the most points. That was Luke Maye. Pinson also didn’t have the most rebounds. That, too, was Maye. However, Pinson finished second among UNC players with seven rebounds, third in points with 13, and led all of his teammates with four assists.
One of the most important plays of Pinson’s day won’t even show in the box score. He positioned himself outside the restricted area late in the game with a large human barreling toward him. Pinson took the charge and gave his team a huge boost heading the other way.
Although many people cringe when Pinson pulls up beyond the arc, he did make his lone shot from distance in the game. One place where only the other team is sad to see Pinson is the free throw line. As he has done all season, Theo knocked down four free throws after attempting a team-high six shots from the charity stripe.
Pinson’s versatility has also helped Roy Williams cycle through various lineups. At one point in the game against Notre Dame, Pinson was playing the four. That’s not the first time, so it shouldn’t be surprising, but the fact that Williams knows he can rely on Theo to succeed in that role is huge.
Player of the Game so often goes to whoever scores the most points, and that makes a lot of sense. However, in this game, Pinson’s contributions go beyond his point tally. He did so many important things against the Fighting Irish and deserves to be recognized for it.