Kentucky has reached out to 6-foot-10, 235-pound center Armando Bacot. No player had a better Peach Jam weekend than Bacot. He was named MVP and helped lead his Team Takeover to a Peach Jam championship while averaging 11.3 points and 12.8 rebounds on a nearly 59 percent field goal percentage. His team finished the spring and summer 23-1.
Adam Zagoria was the first to report UK’s new interest in Bacot and it’s since been confirmed by Kentucky Sports Radio. Earlier this summer Bacot cut his list to 10 (above) and clearly UK was not included. The Cats watched Bacot in Canada as he helped lead his team to a gold medal in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship while averaging 7.8 points and five rebounds per game.
Bacot played three varsity seasons for Trinity Episcopal School in Virginia but announced earlier this month he will transfer to IMG Academy in Florida. In his last two seasons at TES he went 61-5 while winning the 2017 state title and averaged 24.5 points, 12 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game during the 2018 season.
The guy seems to just be an absolute winner. UNC is considered the favorite and Duke isn’t too far behind, but we’ll see if the Cats can make up the necessary ground to land a commitment. I would expect UK to offer, but the Cats reaching out could have just been to see if they can get in the picture. If there’s no offer that tells us all we need to know.
It’s an interesting move because it seemed like it should have happened sooner. The Cats will lose Reid Travis after this season and it seems highly likely UK loses P.J. Washington and E.J. Montgomery after the season. It’s unclear what Nick Richards will do, but if he declared for the draft it wouldn’t be a major surprise. UK could lose its entire frontcourt production for the 2019-2020 season.
UK has D.J. Jeffries commited, but he’s more of a wing than a four. Kentucky appears to be in a solid spot for James Wiseman, Vernon Carey Jr., and Matthew Hurt, but the Cats would at least need to land two other frontcourt players for the 2019 class. Carey Jr. would be the only muscle of the group, besides Bacot.
I don’t take this as a sign that UK feels its slipping with any of the players mentioned above, but the Cats will need bodies for 2019-2020. Bacot would be a great player to add, but it will be an uphill climb.
Really nice sequence for Armando Bacot Jr. He won’t end up at Kentucky but he’s a great player. pic.twitter.com/XB2icR7gtd
— T.J. Walker (@TJWalkerKSR) July 12, 2018