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Theo Pinson expected to return for UNC against NC State

UNC forward Theo Pinson (right) celebrates after a teammate made a shot in the men's basketball team's game against UNC-Pembroke.

UNC forward Theo Pinson (right) celebrates after a teammate made a shot in the men's basketball team's game against UNC-Pembroke.

North Carolina junior wing Theo Pinson is expected to play tomorrow against N.C. State. North Carolina men's basketball head coach Roy Williams told reporters the news Friday at a press conference. 

In October, North Carolina announced Pinson would be sidelined indefinitely after breaking a bone in his right foot. Pinson has not played yet in the 2016-17 season.

Last season, Pinson averaged 4.5 points and 3.2 rebounds for the Tar Heels. He was expected to compete for the starting two-guard spot coming into this season. Instead, Kenny Williams and Nate Britt have alternated starting. Pinson's return should push Williams and Britt to the bench and could diminish the roles of first-years Brandon Robinson and Seventh Woods.

Pinson's return will also help the Tar Heels' small-ball units. Last season, North Carolina blitzed defenses by playing Pinson at the four. Justin Jackson has taken over that role for most of this season.

North Carolina has gone 13-3 without him so far this season. The team is 1-1 in conference play; Pinson's return will be a boost to the lineup and help the team navigate a tough conference schedule.

North Carolina and N.C. State are set to play at 8 p.m. on Saturday.

@bauman_john

sports@dailytarheel.com

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