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UNC Basketball: Armando Bacot officially returns to the Tar Heels

While not a surprise, the move significantly builds UNC’s front court depth for 2021-22.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Wisconsin at North Carolina Joshua Bickel-USA TODAY Sports

As soon as Armando Bacot announced that he was going to test out the NBA Draft process, the rumbling was that it was mostly for the rising third year player (everyone’s classes are going to be weird because of the extra COVID year) to get a few work outs with NBA teams and to see what he needed to work on. He had been active on social media in welcoming new recruits to Chapel Hill, and had made not-too-subtle allusions to the fact he would be on the court with the Tar Heels.

Most mock drafts didn’t have Bacot being selected, and then once the NBA announced last week who would be extended an invite to the Draft Combine and Bacot’s name wasn’t mentioned, it really just seemed like a matter of time before what everyone knew would happen became official.

On Monday afternoon, Bacot announced in probably the most 2021 of ways: on Twitter, and not to any other news site:

In the end, the fact that Bacot had changed his avatar on Twitter to a picture of Hubert wearing some “deal with it” shades probably made this the biggest “no joke” announcement since Luke Maye returned back in 2018 for his senior year.

Bacot comes back to a Tar Heel team that’ll be radically different down low, not as clogged, and with power forwards looking to shoot the three – something he’s apparently been doing as well. With the departures of Garrison Brooks and Day’Ron Sharpe, Bacot figures to be the feature big and will likely bump up his 2020-21 stats of 12.3 points and 7.8 rebounds a game. His role should be clearly defined, although it’ll be interesting to see how Hubert Davis at the helm will change his house. Bacot is clearly excited for the chance to play with Davis, and having the experience of Bacot down low will greatly help a UNC team with a decent amount of roster turnover.

With Davis out and running for the next few basketball seasons, it would appear that the UNC basketball team is set for next season.