PHILADELPHIA — How loose is North Carolina? Reserve forward Theo Pinson crashed a press conference Saturday for the Tar Heels’ starters in advance of their Elite Eight game against Notre Dame.
Pinson walked onto the podium and deadpanned to coach Roy Williams, “Where’s my chair?” Pinson played dumb as teammates cracked up and asked again, “Where’s my name at, though?”
“Like I told you, I don’t need to congratulate him. He congratulates himself,” Williams said. “I’ve been coaching 28 years, I’ve never had one freaking player walk up in the middle of the damn press conference.”
Pinson is the team prankster and increasingly gets attention for his antics. After the Tar Heels’ victory Friday over Indiana, Pinson caused teammates and coaches to bust out laughing in the locker room by mimicking a message North Carolina football coach Larry Fedora delivers on the video board at football games.
“My name is Larry Fedora and I am a Tar Heel,” Pinson told Fedora in a voice attempting to mirror the coach.
The Tar Heels’ combination of talent, veteran leadership and confidence have helped make them loose as arguably the most dangerous team remaining in this NCAA Tournament.
“It’s been really important,” Tar Heels guard Marcus Paige said. “Our team this year has been more laid back than in the past couple years. We have a lot of fun. Our shootarounds are really loose. There’s not a lot of tenseness going on. Everybody’s kind of having fun, and as we get closer to game time, we get serious, lock in and play basketball.”
Follow and read more from Jon Solomon on Facebook and Twitter.