One on one with Theo Pinson

One of, if not the best prospect in the state of North Carolina in 2014 is Theo Pinson. The 6-foot-6 slasher has routinely been considered one of the top 15-20 players in the nation and has spent quite a bit of time in Durham at various events. But, still, Duke hasn't offered. TDD spoke with Pinson to find out where things stand and what his timeframe looks like.

You were listed on the original roster of players selected for the Global Challenge and you are still here through the multiple roster revisions, what made you want to be a part of this so much?

Theo Pinson: Probably just to get the chance to play against other countries again. I didn't make the USA team this year, so I was hoping to play the international guys again because you never know, in the future, you may have to play internationally if things don't work out here. Then getting to play with some of the other great players here.

What are your thoughts on being selected for the Global Challenge by Nike?

It's an honor. Just to be a part of the first group selected and still stay selected, it's an honor that they would consider me talented enough to come and play in this event.

If I could ask, what was your response to not making Team USA?

It was a real motivating factor more than anything, it lit a fire in me. Everybody that made it, I was cool with, and I was cool with those guys outside of the court, so I'm not going to hold a grudge or anything against the players because they weren't in on the decision and I'm also not going to hold a grudge against the coaches. I'm going to be real honest, that was my first wake up call, to see that nothing is going to be given to you. If you want something, you have to go earn it. I'm using this as a motivating factor to go actually play hard every game and get better as a player.

What do you think you are learning from this that is helping you move forward as a person and a player?

Cherish every moment you have as a player, and make the most of your opportunity to play each time you are on the court. Don't ever forget that it could be taken away from you like that. Make sure you are always cool with your peers, and don't burn any bridges just because you maybe didn't get what you wanted and just learn from the experience. That's what I did and when I got back from training camp, I just went straight to the gym and kept working on my game, because what happened humbled me.

You mentioned friendships in your response, Theo, do you still have a lot of the same friendships now that you did over a year ago, especially with the Team USA guys?

I'm type of person that I'm friends with everybody. I try to meet somebody new every time I'm in situations like that because you never know when you will meet again and you want to be able to associate with different guys. I'm a social guy, I like to talk with a lot of people.

You've mentioned in the past that in your friendships with Team USA guys there's lots of recruiting of each other, talking about playing together, etc. Is that stuff still going on with guys like Tyus and Jahlil and others that are friends

We haven't really talked about it all that much recently. We've all been playing and have just been real busy, so we haven't talked as much about that in awhile.

Now that your recruitment is progressing, are there offers out there that you haven't received yet that you are hoping to receive, or do you have every one you were hoping to have?

There are offers that I don't have that I would like to, and I don't want to cut it down and some school is waiting and they come in late after I've cut it down. I don't want to disrespect them like that. There' s a couple schools I'm waiting on though.

Like who?

Like Duke and Kentucky, it'd be nice to have them on my list. Just to know if they offer me a scholarship, that'd be cool.

For some guys they want an offer because they already have a high degree of interest in a school and they would like the offer, is it different for you?

Yeah, it's not like that, I just want to have my best options. Yhat's what my dad preaches at me, just have options because a coach might leave, or allegations or something might happen. I just want to have the best options in front of me for my decision.

Does keeping your options open mean you want to wait until Senior year, and the Spring period to sign?

I'll be honest, I really don't know yet, I'm still just trying to figure out what I want to do. The decision will come when it's right, I don't think there's any kind of time frame I have in mind yet.

Who is really helping you go through this process? Whose advice are you getting?

Really just my parents, some peers of mine, coaches, people like that.

What kind of stuff are they saying to you?

We had a meeting with the college players at Kevin Durant Academy, and they were saying that some coaches don't act the same way when you on campus as to when they recruit you. That's one thing I'm going to focus on for sure, I'm going to have to know, 100% for sure in my heart that they still gonna act the same way if I go there, that's going to be a major factor in my decision. It was huge to hear that from the players that that could happen because I wasn't even really thinking about that at the time, but now I'm going to think about that a lot in terms of my decision.

How do you get a feel for that though?

You can see their appearance like on TV when you watch their teams. What I'm talking about is when they are outside the court, they'll recruit you, but will they talk about stuff outside of basketball. If you call them, will they call you back or not answer.

Have you already received some of that knowledge in talking to players at schools that you are considering?

No, not really, because I haven't been on too many visits and I haven't talked with too many of the current players.

You've mentioned visiting Duke several times before, is that something that you'll do again in the future, or no plans in the works?

I don't have anything planned right now.

Are you hoping to take visits soon? Anything coming up?

I'm hoping to, but it's going to depend on my parents because they travel with me when I visit. That's one thing I'm grateful for, my parents taking all that time off just so they can be here with me at tournaments and stuff, so they may have to work more now since they took so much time off. My dad took a whole month off just so he could come support me.

Are you the type who will cut things down to a manageable list?

Oh yeah, I'm going to cut it down. I'm not the type to keep schools waiting, I want them to be successful with their recruiting, I'll cut it down but I haven't decided when I'm going to cut it down.

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