Announcement primer: 2014 wing Theo Pinson

052113bcxYou may have heard that 2014 Wesleyan Christian Academy (NC) wing Theo Pinson will announce his college decision tomorrow afternoon at approximately 12:15 p.m. ET in front of friends and family.

It’s been a while since Indiana has been involved in a high profile recruitment with some suspense leading up to an announcement, so here’s a primer with all you need to know on the Pinson recruitment:

The Essentials

Forward, 6-6, 180-pounds, Wesleyan Christian Academy (NC), CP3 All-Stars
ESPN: 5-star (13); Rivals: 5-star (11); Scout: 5-star (18)
Schools: Duke, Georgetown, Indiana, Louisville and North Carolina
Visits: Indiana (official and unofficial), Duke (several unofficials), North Carolina (several unofficials), Georgetown (unofficial), Louisville (none)

The Primary Contenders

When word broke of Pinson’s impending announcement via Dave Telep of ESPN.com, the five schools mentioned above were listed. So in theory, he’s choosing from a handful of the top programs in the country. The reality is that this appears to be a two-team race between Indiana and North Carolina.

· The IU recruitment: The Hoosiers have recruited Pinson more diligently than anyone having already hosted him on an official visit for a primetime game against Michigan in early February. IU followed up that visit with several stops to watch him play in both the North Carolina state tournament and this spring on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) circuit. We’ve listed Pinson in the top spot on our 2014 recruiting board for several months now and for good reason: He’s been a high priority for Indiana.

· The North Carolina recruitment: The Tar Heel pursuit has been less consistent with the staff already having secured a verbal commitment from five-star wing Justin Jackson and also pushing for a commitment from five-star guard Rashad Vaughn. What can’t be ignored, however, is the proximity of Chapel Hill to where Pinson has grown up (approximately 65 miles), the allure of staying home and playing for a state school that also happens to be a blue blood program and also the fact that he took at least four unofficial visits to UNC this past season.

The Timing

A couple of things could be driving the timing of the decision, which is a bit curious after Pinson recently said he would be trimming down his list soon.

· First, he may just have a good feel of where he wants to go and is ready to get it over with. There’s little sense in continuing the process through the July evaluation periods and into the fall with all of the phone calls, texts and interview requests from media if your decision is already made. Sometimes you just know and that could certainly be the case with Pinson.

· Second, there are offers out to other players who could potentially nab an available scholarship and Pinson is hoping to lock in his spot.

The Fit

· At Indiana: Pinson has clearly been intrigued by the idea of filling a role similar to that of Victor Oladipo, who will be a lottery pick in next month’s NBA Draft. Earlier this month in Dallas, he said the following when asked how Oladipo’s ascent and development could play into his decision: “It does help (Indiana) just seeing how it took him from where he was to a lottery pick. 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.”

· At North Carolina: The Tar Heel system is up tempo and an athlete like Pinson could certainly thrive in it. Even with Jackson already on board and J.P. Tokoto on roster (and potentially P.J. Hairston if he stays beyond next season), there will be minutes available at his position as the Tar Heels will lose Leslie McDonald after this season and seem to be targeting several guard/wing players in the 2014 class like Vaughn, Pinson, D’Angelo Russell, Devin Booker and Ahmed Hill.

Pinson highlights

How to follow the announcement 

We’ll have a live chat tomorrow beginning in the late morning and continuing until Pinson’s decision is announced. We’ll also have a reporter on site gathering reaction and video.

Additionally, below are some Twitter accounts to montior and we’ll also be sure to add any video streams if they become available between now and tomorrow.

ITH | Dave Telep | Inside Carolina Michael Lindsey | WCA_FanSection

In closing, please remember this is the college decision of a 17-year-old kid. Please adhere to the comment standards that have been set forth over the past six years here on Inside the Hall regardless of the outcome.

  • jermhoosierfan

    Can’t blame him for stating where he will go now. It will more than likely cut down on the amount of calls, texts, or emails he will get during the free for all that is the summer recruiting period. I sure do hope wears those candy stripes.

  • PocketHoosier

    …it might be reading tea leaves, but Crean has been trying to drive it home with Theo that he wants his commitment to the Hoosiers before the end of Spring Evaluation.

    Spring Evaluation ends tomorrow and Theo commits tomorrow.
    Coincidence? I think not.

  • http://www.babytown.com/ OceanArcher

    Hey Theo, I hope you’re reading this forum as well as the UNC one. Look at the difference in the fans and how appreciated you’ll be here in Bloomington. There’s a lot of negativity on the UNC forum with people mentioning they don’t really want you. Why would you want to play for a school where the fans from YOUR OWN STATE aren’t excited about you?

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Keep it classy. Wish him well in his future endeavors regardless of his decision.

  • Garry

    Let’s not forget about his relationship with incoming James Blackmon Jr.

  • http://www.babytown.com/ OceanArcher

    UNC forum discussion about Pinson:

    http://keepingitheel.com/forums/showthread.php?3966-Theo-Pinson-picks-school-at-1215-Wednesday

    Or if you’re considering Duke, search their forums, and you won’t even find your name mentioned on the first 10 pages. You’ll be a star in Bloomington, and you’ll be LOVED by all the fans in Hoosier Nation

  • PocketHoosier

    Tim Buckley, Kenny Johnson and Crean have all been putting so much time in with Theo. He’s obviously his own man and he wouldn’t be hated for choosing North Carolina, but it sure would be as close to recruiting devastation as we’ve seen in a long while.

    Also…don’t discount Je’Ney Jackson’s work with Yogi with your mentioning of how Oladipo’s meteoric rise piqued Theo’s interest. Strength and Conditioning is the primary training areas (that I have seen him) expressed as “very important” in the communications/reports/predictions I’ve seen. He’s at 180 but he wants to use his time at school not only to improve his game -the coaching staff have already been helping him on that, according to several reports-, but to bulk up to the level he needs to be for the pros.

    North Carolina doesn’t have anyone that can compete with Je’Ney Jackson at doing that.

  • PocketHoosier

    Bring your Crazy Vision to Bloomington, Theo; we’ll make you famous (and you’ll make us famous…it’s a win-win)

  • plane1972

    Yeah, I saw some pics of him online. Dude definitely needs to eat a few sandwiches before he hits any campus.

  • kewaynes

    Anyone wanna know what the grapevine’s been tellin me?

  • SCHoosier

    This commitment seems to be inching along. Speaking of inches..ITH has him at 6-6..most others at 6-5. As we learned at the recent NBA Combine with VO….”:size matters”. Suspect he has a little growing room left. He plays around the rim at 6-9. Good luck Theo whatever your decision..but you will just love it at IU.

  • Ole Man

    Zeller going elsewhere would have been devastating.
    Losing this kid would be a major “ouch”.
    But welcome to the big leagues IU!

  • Guest

    The passing awareness and body control! Yogi streaking down the court with Noah on one wing and Theo on the other?!? Am I dreaming?

  • IUeconAlum

    Lets go Theo!! Hoo Hoo Hoosiers!

  • PocketHoosier

    What are you talking about, “welcome to the big leagues?”
    What a stupid thing to say with regards to Hoosiers basketball.

  • dtfreed

    with the way CTC throws out offers, space will fill up quick for the few spots open.

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

    Missing on Pinson would stink, but it would be far from devastating. We are in on about half of the top 25 for 2014. We will be just fine regardless with another top 10 class. Would probably stink the most for the coaching staff who have spent a lot of time and resources on getting him to look at IU.

  • PocketHoosier

    …I’ll hold my thought until after 12:15 tomorrow afternoon.

  • skotchie

    Well I expected worse than I read. Atleast their fan base isn’t slamming IU, I appreciate that since a good friend of mine is a life long UNC fan.

  • Josh

    I haven’t heard much about this. care to explain?

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregory.spera.3 Gregory Spera

    Not sure why that post of mine was attributed to “Guest.’ Disqus has been kinda weird lately.

  • Kelin Blab

    I do believe two things happened….
    1. IU Is in high pursuit of many other guys, so there is a little pressure
    2. It may be very clear to Theo…Indiana REALLY wants him to be a hoosier.

    What will be interesting to see is if Pinson chooses IU, who is the next priority?

  • SCHoosier

    Goodluck O and Exum..altho Booth and/or Wiley would be teriffic also.

  • SCHoosier

    One final thought…if Theo decides to go elsewhere..show him some love…kid has a right to pick his own future as much as all of us really know what’s best for him:) Seriously watch the comments if he goes some where else..other recruits are paying attention.

  • LL Cool Jurkin

    This would be big get on a national stage taking a higher profile Carolina kid away.

  • PocketHoosier

    I’m personally not really concerned with the politics of recruiting an elite player out of North Carolina. I’m much more concerned with the fact that Theo Pinson (regardless of where he happens to come from) will make an incredible addition to the Hoosiers and be positioned to make an immediate impact to an Indiana basketball program that I know and love.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    Booth, Wiley, Francis, all these guys seem like backup plans to Pinson and Exum (who, make no mistake, would be absolutely phenomenal together)

  • LiveIUBBall

    THE-O PIN-SON *chants*

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Amen. If people start throwing around disdain for a kid choosing someone else, that’ll make IU fans look bad. Being positive doesn’t necessarily add to the recruiting, but being negative can sure as hell subtract from it.

  • BC

    WTH? The Carolina fans seem lukewarm on him. Man are those fans spoiled. Look at that athletism. And the passing, what great court vision. Think what Crean could do with that after a year. I would love to see this guy at IU. The IU crowd woud love this kid. The old fogeys will be gushing after they see some of those passes. I can understand the allure of staying instate. We could use a bit more of that. But he will not be underappreciated here, that is for sure.

  • HoosierTrav

    Blackmon Jr. and Theo are friends who keep in contact with each other. JB jr has been in his ear about IU for 2 years now.

  • HoosierTrav

    Your grapevine must be more like a giant bean stalk. haha. Hopefully the whispers from your grapevine are true. Just remember it takes so much to earn credibility but next to nothing to lose it.

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

    EXUM. Just heard that Exum told Rabjohns (spelling?) that I.U. is #1 for him right now.

  • Ole Man

    What are you talking about? What are you, some kind of ego-maniac?
    Losing Zeller would have been devastating. This kid we’re in the hunt for and we want. But if we lose him it doesn’t turn the program in one direction or another.
    You know what, stuff your asinine opinions in your pocket.

  • Ole Man

    DO a favor to all of us. Just hold it indefinitely.

  • Ole Man

    What did “we” learn about VO at the combine?
    His 1/2 inch, give or take, makes no difference to the teams interested in drafting him.

  • BTownJosh

    The fact that he moved up his decision date to announce at his NC school before summer makes me think he is UNC.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Pinson chose UNC….best of luck to him. Hard to fault him for that choice. Close to home, his parents can always see him play, UNC is a great program, etc.

    Moving on….Lyle, Exum, Okonoboh and many more options out there.

  • Jakedipo

    Total bummer!! Would have loved having him at IU…

  • jaypay23

    Very dissapointing to lose Trey Lyles and now Theo. Why can’t we recruit like UNC Duje and Kentucky? And now even Kansas.

  • inLinE6

    Well, it is what it is. CTC has done all he can legally. If we can’t allure him away from NC, nobody else can. UNC is a fine choice and he can’t go wrong. But he won’t be another Oladipo I guess…

  • jaypay23

    Many more options we done lost Pinson and lyles now we’ll probably lose Lyle because we recruited Pinson over him. If Crean can’t get two blue chips every year to the best college basketball program. Then he can not recruit.

  • Gregory Spera

    Can’t help but think that when Pinson tweeted “Big day for me tomorrow!” yesterday, that all the responses from people saying he was a lock for IU jinxed it. To bad. CTC and staff spent an amazing amount of time and resources on this kid. This one hurts. There is still more work to do, apparently.

  • PocketHoosier

    I’ll have to give you the benefit of the doubt, you being an Ole Man and all…your memory must be going out to say something as idiotic as “welcome to the big leagues IU”

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