Pinson Focused on his Game

While many recruits were enjoying the opening moments of the 2011-12 college basketball season on Oct. 14, Theo Pinson was taking another step to improve his game.

Pinson, one of the top players in the class of 2014, traveled to Colorado Springs, Colo. for a USA Basketball mini-camp. Twenty-seven of the best players in the classes of 2013 and 2014 were invited.

The same players will gather in Colorado again in mid-June before final cuts. Those who make the roster will head to Lithuania for the U17 World Championships in July.

"The camp was just to get everybody back together – get USA basketball together again," said the 6-foot-5 wing. "Lithuania is far away, so they want relationships to be really good going over there."

This past summer, Pinson played on the U16 National Team at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship tournament in Mexico and helped the USA win a gold medal.

"It was a great experience for Theo – because he knows a lot of the guys at the camp," said Barbara Pinson, Theo's mother. He was very excited, because he played against a lot of them coming up on the AAU circuit."

Pinson felt he fared well during the mini-camp, but mentioned two players that stood out the most to him.

"Probably Tyus Jones and Aaron Gordon were the best," he said. "Tyus plays the same way he always plays because he's a true point guard. Aaron, it was just fun to see him play and jump out of the gym."

This season, Pinson will play at High Point (N.C.) Wesleyan Academy alongside Florida State commitment Montray Brandon and 2014 point guard JaQuel Richmond. Not many high schools in the country boast that level of talent, ensuring High Point will be a popular stop for college coaches.

Despite the attention, Pinson said his goals for the season are simple.

"I just want to win the state championship," he said. "We have the talent to do it this year and if we don't accomplish it, it will be a disappointing season. Last year there we had a lot harder schedule then we had this year. It's just basketball, so that's all you're really doing. If you play your game everything will come to you."

Pinson claims a long list of scholarship offers, including: Wake Forest, Syracuse, Duke, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, NCSU, Alabama and Florida State. He's also receiving interest from North Carolina.

During the summer, Pinson took an unofficial to UNC and played pick-up basketball with members of the 2011-12 UNC team. A UNC assistant coach made a visit to Wesleyan Academy during the Fall Evaluation Period.

"They (UNC) came to the gym and watched us practice, probably about two and half weeks ago," Pinson explained. "I like the school – the caliber players they bring in are really high. Everyone from there has talent and they bring it to a whole another level and get people ready for the NBA. They also win national championships – and that's what I really want when I get to college, a national championship."

Pinson unofficially visited Virginia Tech recently and will travel to Alabama on Nov. 5. The UNC coaching staff invited him to attend "Late Night With Roy" but he had already committed to the USA mini-camp.

A decision from Pinson is likely far-off, but he knows what he's looking for in a college home.

"We're still gathering information," he said. "Coaching and the atmosphere - how the people are and how they treat my parents - are important. Basically, I want a family environment."

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