Roy Williams: Theo Pinson to play Saturday ‘unless he screws it up in practice’

Photo courtesy of USATSI & CBS Sports

Roy Williams may be receiving his Christmas present a little late.

Reported by Scout Network’s Inside Carolina, junior Theo Pinson will play versus N.C. State tomorrow evening. The 6’6″ forward missed the first fifteen games of the season with a broken right foot.

“Unless he screws it up in practice, I’ll play him tomorrow,” North Carolina head coach Roy Williams told Inside Carolina.

Pinson, a seven-game starter as a sophomore, produced 4.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game in an average of 18.7 minutes played last season. He led last year’s group with an assist every 6.5 minutes of action.

Over his collegiate career, the toughest task for the in-state product has been staying healthy. During his freshman season, Pinson missed 14 games due to a broken metatarsal in his left foot.

Regardless, of his injury-prone nature, Pinson’s return could not be coming at a better time. ACC play has failed to warmly welcomed North Carolina. Following a double-digit defeat at Georgia Tech, the 2016 Maui Invitational champions escaped Clemson in a 86-83 overtime victory on Tuesday.

N.C. State, led by freshman phenom Dennis Smith Jr. (19.6 PPG), have five players scoring in double-figures. Thus, Pinson, who is a quality defender, will be immersed in defending a high-level scorer — if not Smith, most likely Terry Henderson (16.2 PPG) or Torin Dorn (13.7 PPG).

13-3 North Carolina hosts the 12-3 Wolfpack for a 8:00 p.m. EST tip. The game will be televised on ESPN.

– P. Wesner