Pinson: 'I'm A Tar Heel'

HIGH POINT, N.C. --- Moments after announcing he had committed to North Carolina, Theo Pinson talked at length about his decision ...

Why North Carolina?
"Me and Roy (Williams) had a very good relationship and I feel comfortable with him being my head coach. I feel like he's going to put me in the best situations and I still want to play in front of my peers. People from Wesleyan who I built a relationship with can still come see me play."

What schools did it come down to when it came to your collegiate decision?
"It came down to really Indiana and Carolina but it's just that me and Roy had a very good relationship. I had a very good relationship with Coach (Tom) Crean also. It's just why not play in front of your peers for four more years if it has to be like that? I felt like it was the best decision."

When did you alert Tom Crean about your decision?
"I called him right before I came out here. It was tough. They put a whole lot of work into recruiting me but it's a business and you have to do what you have to do. I respect the heck out of Indiana. I'm a Tar Heel."

Why did you decide to make your decision now and how will that affect how your senior season plays out?
"Right now I just feel like I've got a lot of weight off of my shoulders by making the decision. I'm happy about it. I'm still playing in front of a lot of people that I love that have been there with me throughout my whole career. It's a blessing."

How do you see yourself fitting in at North Carolina?
"They get up and down the floor. I mean that's what I do. They need guards for 2014 because they're going to lose a couple of them so I can come in and play. I'm happy."

Can you discuss how you were able to keep your recruitment quiet and UNC's involvement in becoming your school of choice?
"We talk behind the scenes. I don't really put all of my stuff out there like that. I just do what I have to do. Me and Roy we talk all the time so I mean not a lot of people know but we talk a lot and then it was just a good situation."

What was it like growing up as a Duke fan yet ultimately deciding to play basketball at North Carolina?
"I knew we were going to have a little thing about being a Duke fan but the thing is when I went into recruiting, that wasn't going to be a factor, me being a fan. It was going to be the best situation for me so I thought Carolina was so I made the decision."

Did you just wake up one day and decide UNC was the school for you or was there a particular moment where you felt you knew your decision?
"Me and Roy had a conversation last week that just pushed me over the top. It was like this is where I want to be. I realized I was looking back at all the visits I took there and I knew where I was going. I knew where everything was. I was like that's home so that's why I made the decision."

What did Coach Williams say that had such an impact on you?
"That's between me and him. I'm going to keep that between us."

What was your reaction to recent multiple reports that labeled Indiana as the favorite to land you?
"Of course everybody is going to have their own prediction but you just got to listen to them. I really didn't pay attention to most of it. I mean of course there's a lot of people tweeting and stuff but I knew it was going to be a hard decision. A lot of people are a little upset but you've got to come in my shoes and feel like what's the best situation for me."

How do you think this crowd would have reacted if Carolina wasn't your choice?
"Everybody here they've known me for awhile and they told me they were going to support me wherever I go so that wasn't a factor. It was fun."

How well do you know the other 2014 UNC commitments such as Joel Berry and Justin Jackson?
"I know Justin Jackson very well. We played USA team together. Joel Berry…we've actually been talking a lot lately. At every EYBL tournament we always catch up with each other. I'm sure now we'll talk a lot more knowing we're going to the same school."

How does it feel knowing you'll have both Jackson and Berry as future teammates?
"It makes it a whole lot easier for me. You don't have to go in and take 30 shots. You've got great players on the team. They've got great players there now so it's going to be fun."

Was there anything else in the bag besides the Carolina hat?
"No, that was it. … The tag was still on it."

Was this a decision that you felt you made solely on your own or was their some parental influence involved?
"That's one thing I love about my parents. They let me do it on my own. I told them, ‘Mom,, dad this is where I want to be and where I want to go. They said, ‘Are you sure?' I said ‘Yeah' and then they were like alright well we can't say nothing and we're going to support you wherever you go. So I was like alright that's great."

When did you make the decision?
"I actually made it Thursday night. I made it Thursday night but I was still thinking about some stuff so it was still up and down but I was pretty comfortable with my decision."

Was that the same night you had the conversation with Roy Williams?
"The (decision was made) the next day."

How hard was it to keep your decision to yourself?
"It was hard just knowing where you want to go and then you can't tell anybody. Now it's off my shoulders so it feels good."

Did you call Roy Williams before your announcement to let him know the news of your decision?
"I talked to Roy yesterday."

With so many top programs in the state of North Carolina, is it tough to spurn those schools and choose a destination out of state?
"Yeah, you always hear it. ‘Go to Carolina or go to Duke.' It's great just knowing that a lot of people want you to go to the school that they cheer for."

Was Duke still a serious player in this until the end of your recruitment?
"Yeah they were. Of course because I was a fan. Coach K is a great coach. You've just got to do what's best for you."

Are there any 2014 recruits you plan on targeting to try and join you at UNC?
"Well, they're still trying to figure out. After I told them I was going to go there he told me he was still going to try to figure out which guys he was going to try and take. Because the other guard position is taken, he was going to see if he wanted another guard or whatever. That's not even my decision. That's his so you'd have to ask him."

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