Sports

UNC basketball signs two ‘big-time’ additions for next season

UNC commit Armando Bacot, left, talks to friends and family at the Dean Smith Center after the Hornets-Celtics preseason basketball game in October.
UNC commit Armando Bacot, left, talks to friends and family at the Dean Smith Center after the Hornets-Celtics preseason basketball game in October. jalexander@newsobserver.com

Armando Bacot and Jeremiah Francis signed national letters of intent to play basketball at North Carolina next season.

On Wednesday UNC coach Roy Williams received letters from Bacot, a 6-10 center from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., and Francis, a 6-1 guard from Reynoldsburg, Ohio.

Bacot, who committed to UNC on Aug. 16, is ranked No. 19 nationally, according to 247Sports. He is the No. 6 center in the nation and the fifth best player in Florida. Bacot was named the MVP of the EYBL Peach Jam this summer after averaging 11.3 points per game and 12.8 rebounds to lead Team Takeover to the Peach Jam title.

Before transferring to IMG, Bacot, a five-star prospect, played three seasons at Trinity Episcopal School in Richmond, Va.

“Armando has a chance to be a big-time player,” Williams said in a statement. “He’s long, can block shots, score inside, runs well, and has played in big games both in the summer and the state high school tournaments.”

Francis, a former high school teammate of current UNC sophomore forward Sterling Manley at Pickerington Central High, is a three-star prospect who committed to UNC in August of 2017.

“Jeremiah is a wonderful young man whom we identified several years ago and thought he would be a fantastic addition to our basketball family,” Williams said in a statement. “Unfortunately, since that time he’s had two knee surgeries and been unable to play, but we still love him and think he’s going to be a big-time addition to our program. When he is healthy he is a point guard who sets the table on both ends of the floor, is very good defensively, a powerful player who can take the ball to the basket, and make plays for himself and other people.”

Francis is the No. 3 ranked player in Ohio, according to 247Sports, and the No. 12 ranked player in the nation.

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Sports reporter Jonas Pope IV covers college recruiting, high school sports, NC Central and the ACC for the Herald-Sun and The News & Observer.

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