North Carolina got a huge pickup Thursday in the form of 6-10 center Armando Bacot.
Bacot, the No. 7 ranked center in the nation, according to 247Sports, verbally committed to the Tar Heels. He was the second class of 2019 commitment for UNC, and the first five-star commitment.
So exactly what kind of player is head coach Roy Williams getting in the five-star center?
“There are a couple of areas he excels in,” 247Sports basketball recruiting analysis Evan Daniels said. “I think he’s a really good rebounder. He plays hard and he’s active and he really pursues the ball off the class.”
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Last month Bacot led Team Takeover to the EYBL Peach Jam title, bringing home MVP honors after averaging 11.3 points per game and 12.8 rebounds. Daniels said Bacot had a lot of “offensive potential” but rebounding always translates to the next level.
Bacot’s offensive game is a mixture of back to the basket, old-school post moves, with an ability to step away from the block and knock down shots from 15 feet away, something that big men at UNC have thrived in under Williams.
“He has very good hands and touch,” Daniels said. “He can step away from the rim, he just has a good feel on that end of the floor. But I think his offensive game and his rebounds is where he really excels.”
According to Daniels, that feel includes being able to pass out of the post and double teams. Obviously between his senior season at IMG Academy and the time he arrives in Chapel Hill, there is room for improvement.
“He’s going to have to get in better shape, and I think once he gets in a college weight room that will happen,” Daniels said. “I think he could improve his range on his jump shot and I think he can become a better defender.”
What stood out to Daniels about Bacot this summer was the big man’s effort attacking the glass. Even if it takes his offensive game a while to get up to speed on the college level, his ability to rebound will get him minutes as a true freshman.
Daniels has been watching Bacot since he was a freshman in high school and has seen rebounding become his biggest area of improvement.
“I think he’s just become more assertive,” Daniels said. “He’s spent more time in the paint and just become more aggressive as a rebounder.”