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UNC basketball officially keeps a key player. Find out who

North Carolina’s Armando Bacot (5) blocks a shot by Virginia Tech’s Tyrece Radford (23) in the first half on Thursday, March 11, 2021 during the ACC Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C. Bacot scored 17 points, had 14 rebounds and four blocked shots in the Tar Heels’ 81-73 victory.

North Carolina’s Armando Bacot (5) blocks a shot by Virginia Tech’s Tyrece Radford (23) in the first half on Thursday, March 11, 2021 during the ACC Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C. Bacot scored 17 points, had 14 rebounds and four blocked shots in the Tar Heels’ 81-73 victory.

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North Carolina forward Armando Bacot officially announced on Monday he will return for his junior season. Bacot led the Tar Heels in scoring (12.3 points per game) and rebounding (7.8 rebounds per game) last season.

After the Heels’ season ended with a first round NCAA Tournament loss to Wisconsin, Bacot decided to seek NBA feedback on where he stands. He had a workout with the Charlotte Hornets last week.

“I’m thankful Armando got an opportunity to work out with some teams and he played off-the-charts great,” UNC coach Hubert Davis said in a statement. “As much as I am pleased that he was able to go through the process and flourish in that process, I am just as ecstatic that he is coming back to Carolina. I recruited him in high school, helped coach him the last two seasons and couldn’t ask for anything better than to be around him as a head coach. He’s our team leader, our captain, he’s worked extremely hard, he’s our leading returning scorer and rebounder, and for us to have a chance next year we need to have someone like Armando.”

Bacot’s return means Carolina will have four of its starters back from last season, including sophomore guards Caleb Love and Kerwin Walton and senior forward Leaky Black. Bacot is the only returning post player from the Heels’ rotation last season as Day’Ron Sharpe entered the NBA draft and both Garrison Brooks (Mississippi State) and Walker Kessler (Auburn) transferred.

The Heels added help through the transfer portal, getting Brady Manek from Oklahoma and Justin McKoy, who played at Panther Creek High School, from Virginia.

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