Theo Pinson on IU: “They’re looking good right now”

042813The transformation story of Victor Oladipo from under recruited athlete to probable lottery pick is one that is sure to resonate with future Indiana recruiting targets.

But more than a month before Oladipo walks onto the stage at the Barclays Center after hearing his name called, his ascent has captured the attention of one of IU’s top recruiting targets in the class of 2014.

Theo Pinson, a consensus top 20 player nationally, has already taken an official visit to Bloomington and was tracked heavily by the IU staff over the winter and in the two April evaluation periods.

Oladipo served as his host during his official visit in February and his story is an intriguing one to Pinson.

“It does help (Indiana) just seeing how it took him from where he was to a lottery pick,” Pinson told Inside the Hall over the weekend at the third Nike EYBL session in Dallas. “He wasn’t really a big-time player in high school. He was good and really athletic. But they took him to a whole different level.”

Pinson enjoyed another successful weekend with the CP3 All-Stars in EYBL session three. His team went 4-0 and he averaged 15.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists despite playing just six minutes in his team’s final game of the session.

As he prepares for his final high school season at Wesleyan Christian Academy in High Point, N.C., Pinson has a lengthy list of things he’s aiming to improve upon.

“Just trying to keep the jump shot consistent and have a good field goal percentage,” he said. “Also be more active on the defensive end with deflections, blocks, steals and all that kind of stuff. I know how important it is in college so I might as well work on it now.”

Several schools — including Duke, Georgetown, Indiana, Louisville, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina and North Carolina State — are currently in the mix for Pinson, but his father, Theo Sr., told Inside the Hall recently that the Hoosiers are in his son’s top three.

The younger Pinson didn’t confirm his father’s comments, but didn’t exactly shoot them down either saying the following when asked where IU stands on his list: “They’re looking good right now,” he said.

The next step in the process for Pinson will be trimming his list, which could come later this month. He plans to make a decision and sign a Letter of Intent this fall.

From Pinson’s perspective, he’s learning plenty about what life will be like if he chooses Indiana from the approach of Tom Crean and assistant coach Kenny Johnson are taking in his recruitment

“They’re telling me that they aren’t only trying to recruit me, they’re trying to coach me,” Pinson said. “They’re trying to show me if I decide to go there, how they’re going to coach me.

“And they’re trying to make sure that I know that I’m a priority for them.”

Chris O’Dell of Star Local News contributed to this report.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jan.schoenfelder.5 Jan Schoenfelder

    Thanks Theo, you’re looking good too. I think you should move in soon.

  • http://twitter.com/IUinNap Caleb Moore

    Would love to see us match up an elite wing in that class with Blackmon JR. Do definitely need a point in that class too. Pinson, Blackmon, and an elite PG would be excellent. Wish Coleman or Edwards were 2014. TC’s first rebuild year, but feels more like reloading.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Obviously, Theo Pinson would be great addition to this program. The development of Victor Oladipo continues to reap rewards for the Hoosiers.

  • xCowHoosier

    It’s encouraging (when looking at our coaching staff) to hear the comments by these recruits; I think the one thing that is often overlooked is the heart/desire VO displayed. The best of the best have the athletic gifts and an insatiable competitive spirit.

  • skotchie

    Lots of questions reguarding class of 2014. (1) My projected starters 1 Ferrell 2 Blackmon 3 Williams 4 Vonley 5 Fischer. (2) I believe our needs for the future at this point in the 2014 class are Exum / Blackmon and either Alexander or Okonoboh.
    Right now there are only 2 spots and I just projected 3 incoming freshmen.
    I get the over sign it’ll work itself out but I don’t care for it.
    All due respect reguarding young Mr. Pinson, also on his list are four schools that I believe no one can disagree regularly gets players drafted, they being Duke, UNC, UK, and Kansas. (3) Will IU become a feeder to the draft on a regular basis? I hope so. (4) Are we there now? I don’t believe so.
    IMHO IU should recruit priority, 2014 that being 2 Blackmon, future 1 Exum, future 4 or 5 Alexander / Okonoboh.
    (5) Anyone notice I didn’t have room to mention Lyle or anyone else, because we can’t have a 6 player class every year, and instead having Senior night you have Sophmore night.
    Just being realistic here.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    i hear you, it’s a sad reality. CTC didn’t make the rules, but he’s gotta play by them just like every other big-time program. i’m anxiously awaiting the 3-yr mandatory commitment rule change, but not gonna hold my breath!

    i haven’t heard anything on alexander for a long time, and i’m not so sure lyle, though very talented, is a great fit at iu. personally, i’d be surprised if iu lands either of them.

  • HoosierTrav

    Exum, Pinson, and Goodluck please?

  • SUNY_RIT_IU_Grad

    I’ld take those three in a heartbeat and then relax until they arrive! Three outstanding recruits!

  • http://twitter.com/BobSugarLives Dylan Young

    We’ll get Banner 6 if we get Pinson and Exum.

  • TJ91

    What we don’t know is what CTC tells them when he offers them a scholarship. Each one is very different. There are many players we offer that we probably explicitly tell they can’t sign until a certain date. So I’m sure a couple of guys we have “offered” want to sign this very second, but Crean doesn’t let that happen because he wants to see what the more talented players are going to do. It’s a slippery slope.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andyraguilera Andy Rafael Aguilera

    I’d be shocked if Alexander signed with IU, as it seems like he’s gearing towards UK or MSU. Okonoboh definitly is a priority.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andyraguilera Andy Rafael Aguilera

    You’re forgetting that we already have Blackmon.

  • http://twitter.com/HoosiersIn2013 Brian Stewart

    Of all the kids Crean has on his recruiting lists this is the one that intrigues me the most! They can all score it, but have you seen this kid pass the ball? Oh what a beautiful thing it is!

  • http://www.insidethehall.com/ Alex Bozich

    Illinois is making a push for Alexander as of late.

  • http://twitter.com/crocker_jamie Jamie Crocker

    I’d go with Exum. Did you see the Nike Hoop Summit in Oregon. He is lightening quick, crazy motor, jumps to the moon, and plays hard on Defense. I think his rating on ESPN is way to low. He played against the USA under 18 team and looked like a superstar.

  • skotchie

    Excellent Alex I will assume since you did not further comment you agree with me.

  • Kenneth234

    I don’t think that there is as much of a need for a true point guard as most people might believe within CTC offense. Yogi is a blessing, but I don’t see the value of having a second true point guard playing behind Yogi. Having a player who can come off the bench and handle the ball some, help break presses, is really all that is necessary in the time being. For this season, we will see Robinson fill that need, and eventually I think we will see Blackmon Jr. do so as well, assuming we don’t experience a mass exit of 2013 recruits following this season. I imagine that 2015 is the year that we will be looking for another player who can step in and become the starting point guard, whether that be as a freshman due to Yogi leaving for the NBA, or whether it be as a sophomore following Yogi’s 4th season.

    If we get either Coleman or Edwards than that is great, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t come that we will find Crean make do with players who are more natural 2 guards who can also handle the ball at an elite level. I guess what I am saying is that I will not be shocked if some time in the Crean era, if we see a team that has two solid post players in the starting lineup and coming off the bench, playing along side 4 to 6 wing (at least in body type) players filling in and playing a wide open offensive style, all the while be incredibly difficult to score upon.

  • Kenneth234

    Although, it would be nice to get Okonohoh, I don’t think he is a necessity as we are currently very young in the post and I do not see Fischer as a guy who will not be in Bloomington for at least 3 years. Vonleh, although I think he could be a one and done, I don’t think he is coming with that in mind. Then there is Perea and Jurkin who both could develop into decent contributors over the next 3 years, whether or not they ever make it into the starting lineup.

    I do agree that we should recruit based on need, and what we need is a player exactly like Pinson who is an all around threat and will be able to contribute from day one, and fit into a team because he is a very able passer and can get his own shot at will. In today’s game, I don’t think you can really have enough players with the size to play either the 2 or the 3, but can also handle the ball well enough to put pressure on the defense in a variety of ways. With that in mind, I think the only two major priorities beyond Blackmon Jr. should be Exum and Pinson because they can both score the ball at will, defend numerous positions, contribute on the glass, handle the ball and find open teammates.

  • Kenneth234

    I would lean slightly toward Pinson, but getting both should be the main goal because with the likelihood of who would still be around, this could be a more realistic opportunity to hang banner six. I would say it would be nearly twice as good as the chances for last years team because they would be far more complete and have an experienced point guard, to go along with bench depth that last years team simply did not have.

  • SUNY_RIT_IU_Grad

    Not really, VBG, I know Blackmon is currently on board. I want Exum, Pinson and Goodluck (like that name) to join J.B. Jr.

  • Kenneth234

    I would rather him go to Illinois than Michigan State, especially looking at the plan for dividing the conference East and West. The West needs to draw more talented players to equalize the competition imbalance that I think is going to exist.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andyraguilera Andy Rafael Aguilera

    Yeah I would love that as well, but I was under the impression that we will most likely have 3 scholarships available for that class.

  • CreamandCrimson

    The divisions are only for football. They are incredibly unbalanced in football but they have absolutely no impact for basketball.

  • HoosierTrav

    Exum is the better prospect of the two. I’d love to have them both but i feel like Theo is at least a two year guy, so if I HAD to choose one or the other I’d go Theo bc we’d have him longer. Exum is the next Russell Westbrook.

  • skotchie

    I know this makes too much sense to come true but even Coach K agrees once you get to 14 teams you need to have divisions, play teams in your division twice and the other once. 19 game conference schedule. But then everyone has to give up a cupcake game & that’ll never happen, like I said makes too much sense!

  • Kenneth234

    Really? The next Russell Westbrook…I don’t see the comparison. I’m not sure who I would compare Exum to in terms of current NBA players, but I don’t see him as super athletic or a player that needs to be constantly in possession of the ball, and taking more shots than anyone else on his team for him to be happy. From the videos I have seen of Exum, he allows the game to come to him and plays just as well off the ball as with the ball.
    I think Pinson is more in the mold of players like D-Wade.

  • skotchie

    You make great points. Thanks for the response!

  • HoosierTrav

    Westbrook was around 6’3″ and 185lbs when he was a sophomore at UCLA. Exum is 6’6″ and 188 lbs as a junior in high school. He doesn’t shoot it very consistently but neither did Westbrook when he was young. Not even close. One thing they both did was get to the lane/cup at will. Exum possesses that explosive burst and he can play above the rim. I definitly see this comparison especially in similar stages in their careers. Fran Fraschilla and other scouts think he could be the best pro out of the entire 2013 class from the states. I’m not talking about Westbrook of today. I’m talking about the completely different Westbrook of UCLA. He played very much like Exum does. Westbrook expanded his game immensely in the pros and obviously developed a selfishness for the spotlight. He will mature. I would hope he would anyways.

    I don’t really think my personal assessment of his potential was that far off. I may be wrong. Don’t take my comment as a knock on Pinson at all bc I think he’s gonna be a good pro if he can get stronger.

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