ATLANTA – Armando Bacot cut his school list to a group of 10 last month, taking things one step closer to a college commitment. Who has a legitimate chance in securing the junior power forward from Virginia, and what makes him such a heavily valued prospect? The top 25 recruit discussed the programs in the mix as he continues to dominate his opposition with sparkling stat lines.
During his time in Atlanta, Bacot displayed tremendous potential as a half-court big as he finished his stay at the Holiday Hoopsgiving showcase with a 34 points and nine rebounds affair.
Bacot assessed those working the hardest at recruiting him.
“Duke, definitely; I have been hearing from Coach K a lot and coach (Jon) Scheyer,” he said. “Virginia Tech, with coach (Buzz) Williams, and VCU has been hitting me up a lot. UNC, also with Roy Williams and Hubert Davis, and Oklahoma State, too.”
IN HIS OWN WORDS
Duke: “I just know if I were to go to Duke and the players that they have been recruiting, like me, Joey (Baker) and Vernon (Carey), I just know we could be a very versatile lineup like this year with them having Marvin Bagley and Wendell Carter. They’re just showing that they can play three bigs at the same time, but also go small. I know that they would have versatile lineups, and I can show all that I can do.”
Virginia Tech: “I just love coach Buzz Williams and his message. I can tell that he cares about me off the court. Coach (Christian) Webster has been with me from the start. They have a plan for me and think that I can be a one-and-done. They have been throwing it all at me.”
VCU: “They love me down there. Every time I go down there, people ask me for pictures and autographs. I can just tell that they really want me. I just know if I were to go there I would have the ball from the jump, and it would be my city and my team.”
UNC: “I just like their inside-out game. They’re going to go inside first, and that is definitely a plus. I just feel like I could go in there early and start and make an impact on the team.”
Oklahoma State: “They are just a program that thinks that I can be a one-and-done. They have been telling me that they don’t really have any back-to-the-basket bigs that they can throw the ball into, and that I could help change the culture down there.”
Despite narrowing things to a group of 10, a commitment is not expected anytime soon. “The next step is just seeing the programs more, and seeing what they have to offer me, specifically,” he said. “Just seeing how I fit in and what 2018s they get and if it might be a conflict with me if they were to get someone at my position. I will probably take my visits next fall.”
Bacot is one of the most skilled 15-foot-and-in bigs in high school basketball. He has elite-level hands and is a tremendous rebounder who can score facing the basket, but also with his back to it, thanks to a set of counter moves and a solid feel for the game.
Most of the talk has centered around Duke of late. However, Virginia Tech has been heavily invested with Bacot, as has Oklahoma State, VCU and UNC, four programs that cannot be discounted in the recruitment of the five-star junior.