“I’m Theo Pinson and I am loud and proud,” Pinson, the North Carolina sophomore swingman said Thursday, ahead of Friday’s regional semifinal against Indiana. “They all complain about it, but they know they love it anyway. If I’m not talking, they think something’s wrong with me, so I don’t know what they want me to do.”
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
“That is 100 percent accurate,” North Carolina guard Nate Britt said. “Theo is the most talkative guy on the team. On the court, off the court, wherever. He is the silliest person on our team as well.”
“Theo’s always talking, like 24-7,” North Carolina forward Justin Jackson said.
“I could ask him a question and go fix me a grilled-cheese sandwich and come back and he’d still be talking,” North Carolina coach Roy Williams said.
“He’s always talking in the locker room,” North Carolina guard Joel Berry said. “All you hear is Theo’s voice when you’re in there.”
“I don’t ever have to congratulate Theo for doing something right,” Williams said, “because he’s already congratulated himself.”
“I just try to use my personality to bring the team together,” Pinson said. “I think I do a good job of that, on and off the court.”
“On the court, he does nothing but encourage you, that’s for sure. Off the court, he’s always joking. The funniest part is the way he talks about himself. That stuff will have you laughing for days. He loves having fun. He’s definitely one of a kind,” Jackson said.
“My senior year (of high school), season was over with, I was like, you know what? I’m about to do the school play,” Pinson said. “I did the school play dressed up as a bird.”
“Hold on, say that one more time?” Britt said.
Theo’s the only guy I know who can take on two guys talking and they never get a word in.
UNC coach Roy Williams
“I was a bird,” Pinson said. “I had to sing. It was just some random song. I had to jump over somebody. That was the easy part.”
“Yeah, that’s typical Theo,” Britt said. “He would have a role as a bird and he would be singing. And he can’t sing a lick.”
“Sometimes maybe he might talk a little bit too much,” Berry said. “But at the end of the day, it brings joy to us. It makes the team more connected.”
“We have a game called ‘left hand,’ ” Justin Jackson said. “Basically, if you have something in your left hand that you didn’t pay for, if somebody calls ‘left hand’ they get to take it from you. I went to pick up my jersey and he came out of nowhere and said ‘left hand.’ So I gave it to him and he took it, so I had to call him before the game to go get it. That’s one of many things that Theo does.”
“I told Marcus (Paige) before that game, I was going to get somebody,” Pinson said.
“With Theo’s personality, sometimes his personality gets you out of your comfort zone,” Berry said.
“Theo’s the only guy I know who can take on two guys talking and they never get a word in,” Williams said.
“I know when I can play around and I know when it’s a serious moment,” Pinson said.
“He’s doing this (raising his arms to the crowd), which I don’t always like, trying to get the crowd to cheer, get louder,” Williams said. “And you see him slow down and he looks and the guy he’s supposed to be guarding is 45 feet away from him and he doesn’t realize that. And then the guy scores. We’ve shown that quite a few times. We won the game, so we got a lot of laughs out of it.”
“I’m just being myself,” Pinson said. “I’m never going to let anybody change that, wherever I go.”
Luke DeCock: 919-829-8947, firstname.lastname@example.org, @LukeDeCock