Carolina, Duke Commits Teaming Up at Global Challenge
WASHINGTON, D.C. — North Carolina and Duke are supposed to hate each other like the Hatfields and the McCoys.
Like Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger.
Like Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.
You get the idea.
They’re not supposed to get along.
But you wouldn’t know that from watching the USA South team here at the Nike Global Challenge.
This team features two 2014 North Carolina commits in point guard Joel Berry (pictured) and wing Theo Pinson, and one 2014 Duke pledge in shooting guard Grayson Allen.
“Off the court we all cool together so it’s not really a struggle to get along with each other,” the 6-foot-6 Pinson said after going for 24 points and 7 rebounds as USA South beat Brazil, 83-75, Friday morning at Trinity Washington University.
Allen scored 16 points in the win, making 3-for-6 from deep, and Berry added 4 points and 4 assists.
The South team has four members of the E1T1 AAU outfit that won Peach Jam last week — Berry, Allen, Louisville-bound guard D’Angelo Russell and uncommitted 2015 forward Alex Owens.
E1T1 beat the CP3 All-Stars, 108-102, in the Peach Jam final despite Pinson’s 23 points and 9 boards. Now Pinson has joined them for this event.
“That’s what we tried to do, was keep the four of them together a lot and just added Theo to the mix,” said USA South and Houston Hoops coach Tim Schumacher. “It’s been helpful but in the end they’re good players and they gotta go out and make plays.”
Said Berry of the addition of Pinson: “It makes it easier. We won the Peach Jam and everything and when he came to the team and another guy came to the team and we got the big guy that moved up from the 16s [Owens] it just made it easier. Especially as a point guard, you’re the one that controls the game, distributes the ball, and I was able to do that because I had shooters around me and other guys who could play also.”
North Carolina coach Roy Williams sat courtside in a pink golf shirt watching his future backcourt players, which has triggered a few jokes from Allen.
“He just always picking on our coach, always,” Berry said of Allen. “He was like, ‘Man, Coach Williams is always wearing that pink pride shirt.’
“But I come back [with Coach K] just wears church stuff all the time. He probably sleep in church stuff. Everywhere he goes he wears the church shirt and the khakis and the church shoes.
“We’re going to end up being rivals but off the court we’re from the same state so there’s nothing between us.”
Allen, the Duke commit, echoed those sentiments: “We’re friends, we’re teammates. We got a whole year to hate each other on the court so right now we’re just friends and there’s nothing between us.”
For now they’re just trying to win another event together.
“Oh yeah,” Pinson said, “that’s what we came here to do.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.