In a story published by Adam Lucas over at GoHeels.com, sophomore power forward/center Armando Bacot is making the most of a tough situation.
Following a 2019-20 season that saw the Tar Heels slump to a 14-19 record, North Carolina basketball is looking for ways to turn the page. With basketball players off campus until July 6 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bacot has found other useful avenues for his offseason time.
Back in his hometown of Richmond (Va.), Bacot has worked out with former UNC star Ed Davis, another Richmond product. After two seasons in Chapel Hill (2008-10), which included the 2009 national title, Davis became one of the top offensive rebounders over the last decade in the NBA.
Beyond the workouts with Davis, Bacot plans to meet next week in St. Louis to workout with Caleb Love, the incoming 5-star freshman point guard for UNC. According to Lucas, Bacot and Love are hoping to recruit Garrison Brooks to join them as well.
Building these types of relationships and chemistry is important. UNC is set with a deep, talented roster for the 2020-21 season; however, finding rotation balance could be a challenge.
During his freshman season, Bacot appeared in 32 games (32 starts). The 6-foot-10 Bacot averaged 9.6 points and 8.3 rebounds per contest. Bacot also flashed some passing skills, too: 1.2 assists per game (10 percent assist rate), while working out of the post and on some short rolls.
— Trevor William Marks #BLM (@twmarks_) February 2, 2020
Bacot was one of six freshman in high-major basketball this season to hit 10 percent offensive rebound rate, 20 percent defensive rebound rate and five percent block rate; he’s joined in that distinction by Vernon Carey Jr., Precious Achiuwa, Trayce Jackson-Davis and Oscar Tshiebwe.
Up next for Armando Bacot
At the top of the improvement list, though, Bacot needs to solidify his finishing: around the rim and inside of 15 feet. According to Synergy Sports, Bacot shot 50.4 percent at the rim in the half court, which ranked 45th in the ACC (out of 59) among players with 50+ FGA. Bacot also shot just 37.3 percent on post-up attempts and 27.6 percent on long 2s.
There were moments when Bacot would flash some real skill around the basket: a soft touch on a tip-in at the rim or a powerful dunk.
However, Bacot needs better touch on his midrange looks and to finish with more force around the rim, especially. Bacot an excellent player, but he’s too good to be bothered by smaller players in the restricted area.