Members of the 2019 recruiting class won't sign with college programs for north of 18 months, but a number of current sophomores have already receiving substantial recruiting attention. Armando Bacot, a 6-foot-9 center who is suiting up for the Trinity Episcopal School program this winter, is among them.
Given his great size, velcro-like hands, feel for the game and improved mobility, Bacot’s upside is much better than some of his peers in the sophomore class. Already boasting offers from Georgetown, Miami, Florida State and Virginia, things are just beginning to heat up in the recruitment of the top-75 sophomore.
Bacot’s abilities within the half-court setting, boosted by his quality grades in the classroom, has equated to an already high-major recruitment. He received his first offer midway through his freshman year and is now up to 16 scholarship offers.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
“I think I can control the floor as a big man. I know how to find my teammates but I can also go out and get mine, run the floor and block shots,” the 6-foot-9 sophomore said. “I try to watch guys like Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid; some of the classical big men but also the newer style of big men.”
Virginia, Georgia Tech, Providence, Florida State, Penn State, Kansas and Maryland have all been in recently to see him.
Bacot broke down some of the contenders in his recruitment.
Florida State: “It is an interesting offer. They aren’t like regular teams. They have Jon Isaac, a 6-foot-11 forward who can stretch the floor. It is a cool offense to have interest from.”
Duke: “It is really a great program. The coaches are down to earth and really cool. The players are humble and it is a great atmosphere.”
Virginia: “I know it is a good program. I have to defend and it is a system that is going to get me ready to play as best as possible.”
Virginia Tech: “I really like Coach (Christian) Webster and Buzz Williams. He is a great coach; he coaches hard-nosed and fast paced and I know that I can make that type of adjustment and it is just a good program.”
North Carolina: “I know Roy Williams; he gets a lot of NBA players. He had Ed Davis, who was from Richmond, who was a pretty good basketball player. He gets a lot of good big men and develops them pretty well.”
Bacot, who also took recent visits to VCU and Penn State, made the trip Charlottesville this past Monday as he took in Virginia’s win over Louisville.
On Saturday, the four-star sophomore will head to Duke for an unofficial visit before then taking a trip to North Carolina again on Feb. 18. This spring and summer, Bacot will run with the Team Loaded Virginia travel squad on the adidas circuit.
There are not many big men around, regardless of classification, that can score with their back to the basket as well as they can facing it. Bacot is the rare center that can do both. Given that Bacot already displays a good nose for the ball and strong hands that allow for him to corral nearly every rebound within his area, expect his recruitment to only increase as more eyes are placed onto the top-75 recruit out of the 2019 class.