North Carolina Basketball: Star Recruit Theo Pinson Will Make Tar Heels A Tenacious Defensive Team

By Gregory Philson
Theo Pinson
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The North Carolina Tar Heels are always thought of as a high-octane offense that runs other teams off the floor when they are at their very best. While that is a great way to run a college basketball team — especially in the ACC — the Tar Heels could have the best of both worlds when UNC-committed recruit Theo Pinson steps onto the floor next season.

At 6-foot-6, Pinson will add another lengthy defender alongside J.P. Tokoto. Tokoto is considered one of the best on-ball defenders in all of NCAA basketball, and Pinson is considered by scouts to be a solid defender at his position. Pinson does not have to be an all-world defender to help. Tokoto’s best attribute on defense is his basketball IQ. He reads passes extremely well and is great at staying in front of the player he is guarding. Even when coach Roy Williams switched to zone, Tokoto was still able to frustrate offenses because his length and quickness made passing on the perimeter very difficult.

Pinson will add another wing defender who can either help give Tokoto a breather early in games or be in the same lineup and make the Tar Heels an impossible team to score against. Forward Brice Johnson displayed signs that he could be a great shot blocker in the paint, and if Tokoto and Pinson can force opposing wings to take contested shots or right at Johnson, the Tar Heels will have solid defense everywhere.

Scouts add Pinson is a good passer as well. If this holds up in college, he can flip turnovers into quick baskets with easy finds on fast breaks.

North Carolina will always be a great offensive team, but with the addition of Pinson, the Tar Heels will be an elite defensive team during the 2014-15 season.

Gregory T. Philson is an ACC basketball writer at Follow him on Twitter @GTPhilson, “Like” him on Facebook, and add him to your network on GoogleRead more here.
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