UNC basketball’s Armando Bacot to test NBA waters

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C.L. Brown
·2 min read
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North Carolina forward Armando Bacot announced on his social media accounts on Tuesday that he intends to “test the NBA draft process.”

The sophomore from Virginia became the first player since Brice Johnson in 2015-16 to lead the Tar Heels in both scoring and rebounding. The 6-foot-9 Bacot averaged 12.3 points and 7.8 rebounds.

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“I am excited for the opportunity to learn, workout and receive valuable feedback on my game that will allow me to make a solid decision on whether to remain in the draft or return to the University of North Carolina for my junior year,” Bacot posted on his Twitter account.

Bacot was one of a few current players present at Hubert Davis’ introductory press conference as the new men’s basketball coach Tuesday afternoon at the Dean E. Smith Center. His announcement comes as Davis said he planned on making a pitch to get 7-foot-1 center Walker Kessler back at UNC.

Kessler entered the transfer portal a week after the season ended. With or without Bacot’s presence, Kessler figured to be a potential star next season had he decided to stay in Chapel Hill. After Kessler scored 20 points with eight rebounds and four blocks from off the bench in a win over Florida State, Bacot said he had the biggest potential of all the UNC frontcourt players.

Bacot finished the season scoring double figures in his last six games, which was his longest streak of the season.

He greatly improved his shooting percentage from the field going from 46.9 percent as a freshman to shooting 63.1 percent on 2-pointers this season. Bacot’s biggest challenge may be convincing pro scouts he can play with consistency.

He had a tendency to drift. In the first half of their season-ending loss against Wisconsin, he was held scoreless. Bacot scored all 15 of his points within Carolina’s first 19 points of the second half.