Five-star wing Theo Pinson commits to North Carolina

  • 05/22/2013 12:13 pm in

052213cbvIn the end, the chance to play close to home for one of the nation’s top programs was too much for Theo Pinson to turn down.

The class of 2014 wing, rated a consensus five-star prospect, ended his recruitment on Wednesday with a verbal commitment to North Carolina.

Pinson announced his decision at his high school, Wesleyan Christian Academy, in High Point, North Carolina. He was heavily recruited by Indiana and also considered Duke, Georgetown and Louisville.

He’s the third member of North Carolina’s recruiting class for 2014, joining point guard Joel Berry and small forward Justin Jackson.

Indiana offered Pinson in May of 2012 and hosted him on an unofficial visit last June and for an official visit in early February for a primetime game against No. 1 Michigan on ESPN’s College GameDay.

The Indiana staff also attended the final three games of his high school season when he led Wesleyan Christian to its first state championship in 20 years and many of his games this spring for the CP3 All-Stars in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL).

As recently as May 11, Pinson told Inside the Hall that the Hoosiers were “looking good” in his recruitment and that he planned to trim down his list in the coming weeks.

But his timeline accelerated as he decided late last week that he was ready to end the process.

The Hoosiers have one verbal commitment in the 2014 class — James Blackmon Jr. — but are well positioned with several top players including Dante Exum and Goodluck Okonoboh.

Video of Pinson talking about his decision after the jump.

(Photo credit: Adidas Nations)

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  • CreamandCrimson

    Best of luck to him. The choice makes sense for him. UNC is a blue blood program. It’s close to home for him and his parents can watch him play on a routine basis. This is just one more example of the insiders knowing as much as we do with most of these decisions….next to nothing. Nearly every one of them picked Pinson to IU. Oh well.

    Moving on…Exum, Lyle, Okonoboh, Ahmed Hill and we already have Blackmon Jr.

  • stinks mostly for Crean and KJ with all the time and resources they put into his recruitment but we are in on a ton of talent in that class. Just a little strange we were lead to believe he was an IU lean up until about 2 hours before the decision. Good luck to him. On to the next one.

  • lolman

    Darn! Good luck at UNC.

  • calbert40

    Obviously, this is disappointing, but this is why CTC and staff recruit so many high level recruits: when you are going toe to toe with UNC, Duke and other blue blood programs, you are bound to lose a few recruiting battles.

    I wish Theo nothing but success at UNC, and now we focus our attention on the other great players considering IU. Go Hoosiers!

  • aHoopandaPrayer

    I imagine he was set on playing near his home. Best that he moved up his decision date so that our coaches can invest their time and efforts into other players. Best of luck T.P.

  • BradTon23

    Good luck at UNC, Theo. Would have loved to see you in candy stripes, but wish you nothing but the best going forward.

  • jasonwehlage

    Obviously Pinson is not a Wale Folarin fan…Isn’t it time the athletic department realizes how turned off recruits were when Ellenberger was having his photo taken with Snoop, Dre and Tupac decked out in their IU gear…
    Who cares where Pinson goes to school…time to get back to recruiting the state of Indiana Kenny…

  • Hardwood83

    That’s disappointing, let’s hope Exum fills that vacuum.

  • inLinE6

    Disappointing but understandable. Wish him good luck. And I appreciate he moves the date earlier so we’re not hurt that badly.

  • MillaRed

    I am no longer interested in this kid. I am a bitter person.

  • And_One

    Yep, best of luck. Moving on. (And back to work, those of you following this on the company’s dime. You know who you are.)

  • SCHoosier

    X-em off IU’s potential list and move on to Exum! Theo..u have a great future as a Tarheel…the attraction of playing close to home with an excellent program is one I hope every top Hoosier high school player strongly feels in the future. Good luck..thanks for the consideration..and I hope Troy Williams gets a chance to shut you down sometime in the next four years:)

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Best wishes to Theo in the future. I appreciate the good things he said about Indiana.

  • walton

    not the news I was hoping to find. must admit I bought into some of the “insiders” and was certain he was coming. best good out of the situation is unlike a few years ago IU will be fine without him.

  • walton

    thought he was a duke fan growing up ??

  • Ronb

    Maybe this is why Lyle called him to see if IU would still be available. We can hope but there are lots of other great players in this class still available and we already have Blackmon who is a super scorer.

  • TorontoHoosierFan

    Well that sucks. But still maintain that Exum is the guy IU needs to get.

  • Miamihoosier

    In 2014, a Junior Yogi Ferrell is the best point guard in the Big Ten hands down, Sophomore Noah Vonleh is the best power forward hands down, Troy Williams and James Blackmon Jr. might very well be the best SF and SG respectively, and if not they’ll be top 2 or 3 for sure…. If you have the top players at pretty much every position in the toughest league in the country, you’ll probably be pretty good. Saying that, Pinson plays Troy’s position, and as good as Pinson is, I have this feeling a Sophomore Troy gives a freshman Pinson a good run for that spot…..We can all talk Exum and Lyle as much as we want, but 4 of our 5 starters are already world class…….GOODLUCK at Center is my top priority fellas. Fischer is going to be good, but we need a bruising big man who is not an offensive liability (i.e. Perrea), and our talent will just be overwhelming to opponents

  • gerald

    So Pinson didnt commit to us because of a rap concert at the IU Auditorium? I’m sure by recruiting the state of Indiana you mean all the WHITE kids in the state of Indiana. Wake up. Its not 1960 anymore.

  • Sean G

    Cody Zeller, Austin Etherington, almost the whole 2012 class except for Jurkin (I’m counting Perea since he went to HS in Indiana), not to mention Hartman and Davis Jr. coming in this year and Blackmon Jr. coming in next year are all from Indiana.

    However, I don’t think you can just rely on one state for all your talent and just because a kid was born and raised in Indiana doesn’t automatically make him a great fit at IU. Oladipo was from Maryland, but he is a Hoosier through and through.

    Would have loved to see Theo play at IU, but I wish him the best of luck and I am excited to see who the next commitment will be.

  • HoosierInChapelHill

    I live and work in Chapel Hill, and the people in my office are upset that Pinson committed to UNC. They majority thinking around here is that Vaughn is better, and the commitment of Pinson hurts UNC’s chances with him. I’m disappointed we didn’t get him, because I think Pinson is CTC’s type of player (athletic and underdeveloped).

  • calbert40

    Not every class coming out of Indiana has elite talent (2013 is a prime example). We are a “national” program. We can recruit most of the country for elite talent, and I believe it would be foolish to limit ourselves recruiting the country. I’m not suggesting that we should ignore Indiana kids, and as Sean G noted, I don’t believe that CTC feels that we should either.

    Look at this year’s class. Who out of the state would you rather have than Vonleh or Williams? Upset with having Sheehey? Oladipo? Pinson is better than anyone in Indiana for 2014. He would have been a great find for us.

  • RonB

    Nice Article about IU and Yogi on ESPN’s page. They think we will be good this coming season maybe 3rd in Big Ten and a 5 seed in the NCAA. Yogi and Will are the keys along with returning and new players. They see IU as totally back and very good for many years to come giving Coach a lot of credit. If Vic and Cody both go Top 10 or even an outside chance of top 5 now that Cody wowed them on day 2 of the NBA combine setting all time records for big men over 6’9″
    in the skill sets it will make IU’s program look even better to new recruiting players.

  • b_side

    Everyone in the class of 2012 played HS ball in Indiana save for Jurkin. For the coming seasons, here’s a brief breakdown:

    2013 – Davis and Hartman (Evan Gordon can be counted as well)
    2014 – Blackmon (commit), Lyle, Bluiett
    2015 – Jalen Coleman and Hyron Edwards
    2016 – Eron Gordon and Vijay Blackmon

    Remind me again who is and who isn’t recruiting the state of Indiana?

  • b_side

    Using that logic, Bob Knight should have avoided recruiting Zeke and Scott May as well…

  • b_side

    Yikes, you’re opening up Pandora’s box:

    Ray Felton, Ty Lawson, Harrison Barnes, Danny Green, Tyler Hansbrough, Marvin Williams, Sean May, Ed Davis, Brendan Wright, Kendall Marshall, John Henson, Wayne Ellington, Cody’s middle brother.

    Out of all the players listed, only Marvin Williams was a one-and-done if you want to get technical about “development.” Maybe not all are household names in the NBA (Sean May is obviously out of the league now), but this doesn’t even mention the talent he developed at Kansas. Roy has a great system in place to take kids to the next level.

  • calbert40

    I think we need to define the difference between a player from Indiana and an “Indiana player.”

    Just because a recruit lives and grew up in Indiana does not mean he is an “Indiana player.” I care less where they are from as opposed to their attitude, work ethic, coachability, basketball IQ, desire to be a Hoosier, etc.

    I watched Bryson Scott play this year, and as we all know, he is an Indiana All-Star who committed to Purdue. He may be from Indiana, but based on his attitude on the court in the game I watched (constant whining, yelling at teammates, being insubordinate with coaching staff, total black hole with the rock, getting in a pushing match and getting T’d up in an OT game, etc), he was not an “Indiana player.”

    I’d much rather have an out of state recruit, like Noah Vonleh, who appears to have all of those previously mentioned attributes and then some, than a recruit from Indiana who doesn’t seem to have them.

  • Patty Williams

    On to the next!!! I’m just ready for 2013-2014 basketball season to get kicking!! Let’s go Troy Eillisms and the new crew!!! ON TO THE NEXT ON!!! Phase 1 let’s get it in boyz!!!!!

  • Patty Williams

    I meant Troy Williams. Typing on these darn iPhones to fast makes mistakes like that one. Lol

  • MillaRed

    Preach on Calbert!

  • HoosierTrav

    One thing Theo wont get that Troy will is WING DEVELOPMENT! Troy is going to be a MONSTER with the likes of IU’s coaching staff and Strength coach JaNey Jackson.

  • Sean G

    I must say, I’m a little baffled by all of this negativity regarding the coaching staff’s recruiting practices – namely not recruiting Indiana enough – all because we missed out on one recruit from North Carolina – These things happen. The staff has gotten a decent amount of Indiana talent the past several years and while Crean does have his faults, I, for one, do not think recruiting is one of those faults. I believe he has shown, on a fairly consistent basis, that he is a pretty good judge of talent, character, work-ethic, and potential.

  • knightsoverated

    This young man is a drama king anyway, time to quit worrying about the east coast so much and keep Indiana kids at Indiana instead of Michigan and Michigan St.


    Right on Ms. Williams! way to be positive! Hey, if Troy Eillisms has a good jumper sign him up too! haha!
    PS best of luck to you and your son as he transitions
    from high school to college.

  • b_side

    Ha, then maybe you should revise the last sentence because you can’t have it both ways.

    “Had Pinson came to IU he would have been in good hands to get him to the next level, but now I doubt we’ll see him have lengthy career in the league or even get to the NBA.”

  • Benhyoung14

    Alright if IU can get 3 of the top 7 players they’re recruiting than IU will have one of the best class CTC has ever had.

  • Ole Man

    The white kid remark was uncalled for in this day and age.

  • what a shame. UNC fans didn’t even really want him.

  • Ole Man

    Silly comment. Of course we need Pinson; and any other five star that commits.
    Good luck, young Pinson. Hope your dreams work out for you.

  • Ole Man

    True. I read their boards last night, and they were tearing into the kid.

  • 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.

  • SCHoosier

    Those fans were just covering their collective arses cause IU was seen as the favorite to get him.

  • SCHoosier

    I think it does emphasize that TC can play in the national player lottery but he’d better really erode the recruiting beachhead that MSU, UM, OSU and others built in Indiana during the Davis/Sampson years. No Mr. Indiana b-baller or 4/5 star player should ever want or need to go anywhere but Bloomington.

  • plane1972

    Victor Oladipo, Christian Watford, Will Sheehey, and DJ White are perfect examples of imported “Indiana guys”. Once Bloomington gets its hooks in you, you love IU, and it doesn’t matter where you come from.

  • calbert40

    Precisely! Those young men may have been from another state, but they are the very definition of “Indiana players.” It doesn’t matter that they came from Maryland or Alabama.

  • plane1972

    Have to think that is a major reason why Pinson’s timetable accelerated as it did. He was afraid Vaughn was going to get that scholly and shut him out.

  • marcusgresham

    While I would have loved to have seen him at IU, I don’t blame the kid for staying close to home and I hope he has a good career since he seems like he’s pretty classy and level-headed.
    I also don’t think losing out on him, as talented as he may be, is as big as losing out on some other guys for the simple fact that his position is the deepest on the roster. This opens an opportunity for another big man or point guard, bot of which are far less populated positions at IU.

  • Daburns0

    Great point. Had this been October or November, we would be scrambling. As it stands, this worked out well for IU. Goodluck to the kid. We will find someone who is just as good and wants to be a Hoosier

  • Mooks

    This one hurts, but in the long run, Theo did a good thing by announcing early. IU would of been in deep waters had Pinson made his decision next spring/fall.

    Now we to really lock up Exum and Goodluck. If the 2014 class has Exum, Goodluck, Blackmon Jr, and Brandon Francis we will be in good hands.

  • Darn, it would have been really cool to grab one from their back yard for a change! There are other fish in the sea, and CTC seems to find and sign players who end up being PLAYERS and great kids. Best of luck Theo…