Armando Bacot was a good starting center the moment he walked onto UNC’s campus, but he was rarely featured as a main offensive option in his first two years in Chapel Hill.
This season, the junior has finally become the focal point he knew he was always capable of being — and he did it all while staying true to his dominance in the paint.
With 3-point shooting becoming an essential quality in prototypical modern-day NBA centers, Bacot has continued to specialize in inside scoring, believing it was the best thing he could do to help the team win.
“Right now with me being so dominant in the paint, there’s really no reason for me to lean on a jump shot when I can grab a rebound for one of my teammates to shoot it and score at will in the post and around the rim,” he said. “I just try to do what I’m best at first.”
Head coach Hubert Davis has encouraged him to expand his range and Bacot has worked on his shooting, reportedly making 1,000 3-pointers a week during the offseason.
“He worked his butt off,” senior wing Leaky Black said after the team’s home win against Georgia Tech on Jan. 15. “I just see him shooting threes every day, working on stretching his game out.”
It was during that win over the Yellow Jackets when Bacot shot his current season-high in 3-point attempts. He scored 29 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, albeit shooting 0-2 from beyond the arc.
Bacot has only attempted four other triples this year, and he's drilled only one — the sole make of his collegiate career.
“Even though Armando can shoot the ball from the outside and he has the green light to be able to do it, the thing that he does best is finish around the basket and rebound the basketball," Davis said.