Is this title clickbait? Possibly. Do I care, seeing as it’s the dead of the offseason and not much basketball-wise is going on? Definitely not.
One of the things we most missed (I’m using “we” both to mean “us fans” and “UNC Basketball) this time last year was the alumni pickup games, which are an opportunity not just for a young team to play against a bevy of professionals with more developed bodies and basketball minds, but also a way for coaches to gauge their team against unfamiliar competition without any stakes. Coby White, for example, wasn’t really on the NBA Draft radar leading up to the 2018-19 season even in Roy Williams’ eyes, but the story goes that his domination of alumni pickup games convinced the coach, along with a lot of the alumni, that he’d only be seeing the point guard for one season. It’s also a way for players to get some informal coaching from people who have experience with the way things are done in Chapel Hill, and, least important but most pertinent, it’s new content for us fans who are starting to get tired of rewinding last year’s Duke sweep highlights for the 50th time — oh wait, that’s just me? Carry on.
In the past, that content has mostly been written through misty-eyed Adam Lucas recaps, and we thankfully still get those, but it looks like UNC’s started trying a lot harder to engage on social media across all sports in the past half-year or so, and to great effect — we’ve gotten a ton more behind the scenes stuff, much cleaner graphics, and generally more involvement with fans. The brand feels much younger and less staid than it did a couple years ago, and that’s good — and also material for another time. The latest example of this is what we’re here to talk about, because it is also perhaps the most entertaining so far. And that’s because some smart individual decided to take advantage of the natural entertainment value of a certain Theophilus Alphonso Pinson:
We only get flashes, but there’s very little point in trying to analyze pickup for basketball, anyways (feel free to in the comments, though!). What I’m here for is the entertainment value, and there’s plenty here courtesy of Mr. Pinson. Here are just a few of my favorite moments:
- Pinson calling Joel James “BBQ Chicken” as a man gets by him and roasting him for his big, heavy feet.
- Pinson praising Caleb Love’s drive and kick to him, saying “I gotta make this for you,” and tossing up a brick — and then, on the next offensive possession we see, draining a stepback triple.
- Pinson seeing Kenny Williams get a shot blocked by Dontrez Styles, and then telling Armando Bacot he would’ve called foul.
- Pinson laughing at the opposing team for leaving Tyler Hansbrough open for a long 2, telling them, “Y’all know this man has the scoring record for the whole UNC?”
- Pinson blatantly fouling R.J. Davis after a pretty eurostep to the basket, telling him he’s not going to get a layup that easily as he praises the young guard’s move.
What did you think of the clip? Favorite moments? Impressions? Irrational excitement? Discuss!