Armando Bacot's 5 Best Games This Season
Armando Bacot was the last starter to finally miss a game for North Carolina this season, as Bacot sat out UNC’s home win over Wake Forest on March 3. It was the Tar Heels’ next-to-last game of the regular season.
Bacot was banged up for most of the season, though, and missed time due to injuries. He played three minutes before suffering a concussion at UNC Wilmington, seven minutes before badly spraining an ankle versus Ohio State, and played just nine minutes in a win at Syracuse because of another sprained ankle.
The freshman forward admitted in early January the ankle had affected his play over the previous month, which included a five-game stretch in which is he was 9-for-38 from the field. He then had a stretch in late February in which he scored 15 points in four games, three times netter three or fewer points. Other than that, he was pretty solid, though sometimes inconsistent from game to game.
In other words, Roy Williams didn’t know what he was going to get from the 6-foor-10 native of Virginia, but when Bacot was at or near his best, he was a very good player for the Tar Heels.
On the season, he averaged 24.4 minutes per game, starting all 32 games he played in. Bacot averaged 9.6 points and 8.3 rebounds while shooting 46.9 percent from the floor – he was at 51.2 percent if you remove the post-ankle injury stretch.
He converted 80-for-124 (64.5 percent) from the free throw line, handed out 39 assists, committed 55 turnovers, blocked 36 shots and registered 16 steals. Bacot scored in double figures 16 times and grabbed 10 or more rebounds 14 times. He registered 11 double-doubles.
As we continue putting a bow on the just completed 14-19 season for the Tar Heels, here is a look at Bacot’s five best games from this past season along with some perspective:
Bacot's 5 Best Games
Vs. Oregon, 78-74 win: 31 minutes, 23 points (7-9 FGs, 9-10 FTs), 12 rebounds, 6 blocks, no turnovers.
Elon, 75-61 win: 26 minutes, 22 points (9-14 FGs, 4-7 FTs), 14 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover, 3 blocks, 2 steals.
Vs. UCLA, 74-64 win: 32 minutes, 15 points (5-7 FGs, 5-10 FTs), 12 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 turnovers, 1 block and 1 steal.
Miami, 94-71 win: 33 minutes, 19 points (8-11 FGs, 3-3 FTs), 12 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 turnover, 2 blocks.
At Duke, 89-76 loss: 24 minutes, 13 points (5-7 FGs, 3-6 FTs), 12 rebounds, 2 turnovers.
It’s not hard to see that with a 4-1 record for the Tar Heels in these games and 8-3 overall mark when Bacot posted double-doubles, that UNC was much better on nights he played well. Without knowing for sure, it’s hard to determine if the poorer games were because the bad ankle was flaring up those nights or not. Bacot recently acknowledged adapting to the need to be on a certain level every day at practice and in every game, so that understanding will serve him well in the future.
His work around the basket was strong some nights and so-so on others, but getting stronger and being healthier, which he says will allow for more explosiveness, will make him a better finisher at the line. Also note that four of the games we featured were against power programs, including the top two teams in the Pac-12.