(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Good news for Theo, and it’s the best news for Maye.

Theo Pinson’s hard work developing from an elite athlete into a great college basketball player will have its just rewards. Pinson was a late invite to the NBA Combine in Chicago, where he can show off his high-caliber defense and hope some team recognizes how far he has come as a scorer and facilitator.

Pinson may not be drafted, but he might be better off that way. As a potential free agent, Pinson and Roy Williams can look at the rosters of all the NBA teams and determine which one Theo has the best chance to make. Then Ol’ Roy can use his vast contacts in pro basketball to get Pinson a tryout. That’s a lot better than being drafted late in the second round and having to make that team.

Personally, I think Theo would be a great addition to the right NBA club. Look at how unselfish the best teams play and how many guys contribute on those teams who aren’t household names. Funny, from Bobby Jones to Magic Johnson to Ben Simmons, players whose offense was questionable coming in all become better shooters and scorers playing in the NBA.

Man, when looking at who will be in Carolina backcourt next season, Pinson and Joel Berry will sure be missed. But someone who will be back, as predicted right here on this program, is Luke Maye. He wasn’t invited to the NBA Combine, either. Maye worked out for the Charlotte Hornets and one or two other teams, and he likely got great advice on improving his body, quickness and jumping ability in his senior year at Carolina.

So Maye, Kenny Williams and Cameron Johnson represent three senior starters in 2018-19, likely to be the fourth straight season that Carolina will be nationally ranked with at least two senior starters. That’s called – if anyone over in Durham has forgotten – building and sustaining a program with what Williams has dubbed “experienced talent.”

Who will play point guard and how better have the three young big men gotten will be the biggest questions heading into the new season? Junior Seventh Woods has improved over his first two years and could get the first crack at running point. Where will Nassir Little, who is already projected as a one-and-done, play to maximize his exposure and make the Tar Heels all the tougher?

Fun questions for sure!