Updated: May 6
In an interview with Jon Rothstein, a college basketball insider from CBS Sports, new head coach of the Tar Heels Hubert Davis announced that Armando Bacot will return to Chapel Hill for his junior season, and is withdrawing himself from the NBA Draft process. Bacot, who declared for the Draft back in April, while retaining his college eligibility, rejoins a team he led in both scoring and rebounding last season. Bacot was one of six Tar Heels at the time to have left the program via transfer or entering the NBA Draft. Prior to Bacot’s decision, UNC lost Garrison Brooks, Sterling Manley and Walker Miller to the transfer portal, and Day’Ron Sharpe declared for the NBA, after one season in the program. That mass exodus of talent from the front court, meant Hubert Davis had a lot of work to do in terms of restocking the talent. He’s done a good job so far bringing in Brady Manek, a transfer from Oklahoma, and Justin McKoy from UVA, but that didn’t solidify the front court, the return of Armando Bacot has done that.
His NBA Draft experience may have been short lived, but it wasn’t hard to detail where his game has to improve if he wants a career in the NBA. Armando has displayed the ability to hit a mid-range jump shot, but hasn’t connected on it enough for the NBA’s liking. He’ll also need to continue to work on his body, and continue to get in better shape. The best part is that all that the NBA wants him to improve, Hubert Davis wants him to improve as well. UNC is going to play at the same tempo under the new head coach, but they are also going to spread the floor and play smaller, to get the most out of their guards. Brady Manek can stretch the floor, but if Armando Bacot can as well, it’ll only open up the floor for Caleb Love, and R.J. Davis. Bacot improved last season at finishing around the rim through contact, so it’s possible he can continue to improve his game.
Not only are the Tar Heels returning their leading scorer, and rebounder, they are also returning an active recruiter for the team via social media. Bacot has taken to Twitter, to tweet at players UNC has targeted through the transfer portal. In this era of players teaming up to play with one another, this could be an avenue for the Tar Heels to restock their talent pool, and compete for ACC and NCAA championships.
At the least, it appears that the Tar Heels are returning a player that they know what they are getting out of him. While Brady Manek was a productive player at Oklahoma there’s no guarantee he’ll produce in Carolina Blue. Bacot has produced in his two seasons at UNC, and with his relationships with Hubert Davis and Sean May, the best may be ahead of him at North Carolina.
Make sure to stay tuned to the Heel Tough Blog for the latest news around Carolina Basketball.
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