It is no secret that Armando Bacot is having a spectacular season, one that makes him a solid candidate for a number of postseason awards. We can now officially say that he is being watched by at least one committee, as he landed on a watch list yesterday.
Bacot has been named to the Lute Olson National Player of the Year Award list for his performance to this point in the season. He is one of five ACC players that were named to the list, including Virginia Tech’s Keve Aluma, Duke’s Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter, and Wake Forests’ Alondes Williams. So far this season, Bacot is averaging a team-high 16.6 points and 11.1 rebounds per game, and is shooting 64% from the field. He is also averaging 1.9 blocks and 0.9 steals per game, showing that he’s been able to get the job done on both sides of the floor.
The Lute Olson National Player of the Year Award is presented annually to the best player in Division I basketball, and is named after former Arizona Wildcats head coach Lute Olson. During his time with the Wildcats, Olson won 776 games, 11 PAC-10 titles, went to four FInal Fours, and won the national title in 1997. He finished his career with a .731 winning percentage, and became a Naismith Hall of Famer in 2002.
Armando Bacot’s development over the last few years has truly been impressive. Each year he has gotten stronger, quicker, and has been playing with a lot more aggression. We still haven’t seen the development of his mid-range and his perimeter jump shot show up much during a live game, but it could be a matter of time before he starts showing off some of his versatility. The Tar Heels are destined to go only as far as Bacot is able to take them, and considering the fact that (almost) no team has been able to stop him, I’d say that’s not a bad deal at all.
What do you all think of Bacot’s award nomination, and what do you think of the season he’s having so far? Let us know in the comments below.