North Carolina forward Theo Pinson (1) moves the ball upcourt against North Carolina State guard Dennis Smith Jr., right, during the first half of Sunday's game. (AP Photo/Ellen Ozier)
North Carolina junior swingman Theo Pinson couldn't wait to make his season debut.
Pinson entered Sunday's 107-56 win against North Carolina State to a standing ovation during the first half. He had yet to play this season after having surgery in October repair a broken bone in his right foot. Pinson didn't score against the Wolfpack but finished with five rebounds, five assists and four steals in 13 minutes.
The 6-foot-6 Pinson was expected to miss 8-12 weeks after the surgery, and Wednesday marked 10 weeks since the procedure. He had recently returned to full practice drills and said he was pain-free.
"I think we’re going to put a couple of off-days in between, just to get back in the rhythm of stuff, not try to go all in at once," Pinson said. "But right now I’m doing everything and I feel good, until I feel bad, nothing’s going to change."
Pinson is possibly the team's top perimeter defender and a good passer, while his versatility was a significant factor in UNC's run to last year's Atlantic Coast Conference championship and the NCAA title game.
As for the thrill he got from the crowd's roar as he entered the game? Well, let him explain it.
Postgame video: UNC's Theo Pinson on making his season debut Sunday following October foot surgery pic.twitter.com/HZtHlhjzEf
— Aaron Beard (@aaronbeardap) January 9, 2017
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